While the term ‘ubiquitous connectivity’ may sound like an horrendous commercial buzzword, in the Republic of Korea it accurately describes citizens’ way of life.
From lightning-fast wireless connections to the widespread acceptance of limitless digital payments (even in taxi cabs), Korea has emerged as a key driver of digital technology and positioned itself at the forefront of innovation.
So, although the combined value of Korea’s stocks remains lower than the total capitalisation of Amazon, the country’s tech market continues to grow at a sustained and exponential rate.
This trend is prevalent throughout Asia, where rapid advancements in technology have transformed the region into a tech superpower. But how has this happened, and to what extent is Asia beginning to dominate the market?
How has Asia Become a Technology Giant?
Aside from the exponential adoption of digital and wireless technologies in the Republic of Korea, China has also blazed a trail for others to follow in the tech market.
This is part of a wider trend in China, of course, with the government having unveiled a $2.5 trillion yuan (£291 billion) investment in renewable energy over the course of the last two years.
Beyond this, China has also broken significant ground in more conventional areas such as machinery, automobiles and electronics, while pursuing new frontiers in burgeoning technologies such as AI and big data.
At the heart of this is China’s innate ability to draw on a huge pool of national talent and expertise, while the country’s growing financial power has also driven significant levels of investment that few other nations can match.
Japan is also evolving to match China’s efforts in the tech market, and once again this success has been built on a significant investment in education. More specifically, Japan spends an estimated 3.59% of its GDP on education each year, with its students ranked second in mathematics and first in Science from a global perspective.
Is Asia Now Dominating the Tech Market?
Interestingly, Japan is ranked as the most technologically advanced country in the world, with China trailing third behind India.
This highlights the prominence of Asia as an influential tech hub, and one that continues to benefit from the advent of scientific research, development and advanced innovation.
This has also had a knock-off effect for smaller Asian regions, particularly those located in the south-east. Here, areas such as Singapore and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam are also seeing significant investment in technology and science, creating a defacto race to create the next Silicon Valley.
In Singapore, the number of tech startups in the city-state increased from just 2,800 in 2003 to 4,300 in 2016, while venture capital funding soared from $80 million in 2010 to $1.2 billion just seven years later.
This is not only creating a more competitive landscape in Asia, but it is also attracting tech startups (and established companies) from across the globe and challenging the historical dominance of developed economies like the UK and the US.