the Great Wall is generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China.

What China can teach the world about digital transformation

By the end of this year, China will boast 55.8% of global online retail sales, a figure predicted to rise to 63.0% by 2022. China’s emergence as a dominant digital force should have businesses around the globe probing for the best ways to navigate the digital future. Here are 4 things they can learn from China’s rise: 

  1. Transformation starts at the top – in China, digital transformation is increasingly led by CEOs that direct work to translate their vision into a full digital transformation program.
  2. Fail fast to innovate faster – Chinese companies have a unique approach to digital transformation in which multiple prototypes are tested with consumers, with the most successful one being rolled out. When undertaken at scale, the Chinese innovation model is super-fast, but also requires significant data and digital technology.
  3. Go from imitator to innovator – while China has a reputation for creating copycat businesses, many entrepreneurs have replicated foreign models at scale, creating innovative new offerings in the process. Now, many companies worldwide are starting to copy Chinese concepts.
  4. Speed and convenience are king – Chinese brands understand that they are not just purveyors of products, but they are partners helping consumers live better lives. To this end, they have created a full digital infrastructure based on speed and convenience. Companies elsewhere need to become more obsessive about digitizing their businesses if they are to catch up.