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Chinese revolution turns hi-tech Sixty years after the revolution engineered by Chairman Mao, China is in the midst of a different revolution – of a digital variety. Since Mao’s death in 1976, China has changed enormously, racing to catch up with the rest of Asia. Mobile phones and cameras have become must-haves – everywhere you go, people are talking, texting, and surfing. An explosion of capitalism has given cities like Shanghai and Beijing futuristic skylines.

Big business and consumer technology alike have found a new home here. The country is already the world’s largest producer of mobile phones, PCs and cameras, which it can churn out in their millions – and all because of China’s biggest resource: people. On size alone, it is fast becoming a technology superpower and it almost has no choice in the matter. For example, even though only 8% of its people have access to the internet, this equates to 100 million people online, second only o the US. No longer just a tech producer, China is becoming a gargantuan tech consumer. It will come as little surprise that China is now the world’s largest cell phone market, with more than 380 million mobiles. And, just like internet

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penetration, the number is rising at an impressive rate. Just like the rest of the world, they are in love with their phones. People are surprised by China because it’s been like a sleeping lion for years. Now it’s starting to jump.

China is so ready to compete with US technology that, in one particular case, it bought the company. In December 2004, Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo did the unthinkable – it bought part of IBM. The part, that is, that makes PCs. Lenovo was already China’s largest PC maker but, after the IBM deal, it has shot up from 9th largest to 3rd largest PC manufacturer in the world. China has the size, and it is showing signs of determination to spread its influence beyond its borders.