Table of contents(17 chapters)
In as much as it is contested, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is also unexplored, underdiscussed, and, as a result, misunderstood. Frequently viewed through the lens of international relations and global economy, the diverse dimensions of collaboration, including business and research-industry clusters, that BRI enhances, tend to be excluded from the analysis. In a similar manner, the role of the Arab Peninsula in the grand strategy underpinning BRI and its implementation is rarely discussed. BRI is a forward-oriented initiative, an attempt to reap benefits of developments and circumstances that are only nascent. This bears two potent implications. First, as China attempts to influence the context in which it operates, it is subject to change itself; the Chinese business sector evolution attests to that. Second, some of China’s not so obvious partners of today, including those in the Arab Peninsula, are about to turn into key interlocutors of tomorrow. BRI taps into opportunities thus created. This chapter elaborates on these issues and, against this backdrop, outlines how the remaining chapters included in this volume add to this discussion.
The Spirit of Silk Road: The Impact of Medieval Chinese–Arab Relations on the Contemporary Bilateral Sino–Arab Relations
The nature of the relationship between the Arabs and China in its historical and current dimensions raises the issue of compatibility and coexistence and the possibility of its continuity among nations and cultures. During the fifteenth-century-period, in which Arab–Chinese relations developed, a model of coexistence and harmony between the two civilizations and cultures emerged, which is rare to find in the history of relations between societies and countries. In this chapter, the researchers attempt to return to history to discuss the forms of the development of peaceful relations between China and Arab societies, and the cultural and psychological motives that led to the normalization of political relations in a pattern of mutual respect and peaceful cooperation on many common issues, which still continue to affect positively the relations between China and the Arab world nowadays. The study found that the nature of the eastern mentality of both parties and the positive stereotypes that each side has about the other long time ago have contributed decisively to shaping these relations in the subsequent centuries.
The Past, the Present, and the Future of the New Silk Road: China as a Leader or a Free-Rider in International Relations
The New Silk Road Diplomacy in the Nineties, the Belt and Road Initiative today, and the Digital Silk Road of the future signal growing Chinese ambitions in international relations. The bold plans and visions may turn into fundaments of future Chinese domination in World affairs. However, the ways they are to be achieved indicate, that the Chinese policy-making did not adapt yet to new reality of being a leader rather than a free-rider taking advantage of other Powers’ international involvement. The goal of the chapter is to point to the limitations of PRC ambitions. Qualitatively new international reality requires qualitatively new approaches. China, if it does not realize that, despite being one of the biggest surprises in terms of dynamics of development in twentieth century, may become one of the biggest disappointments in twenty-first century. The World seems to accept the fact of growing PRC role in international dimensions. The question is, is China ready for this change not only in words but also in practice.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is endeavor of paramount importance that is likely to redefine socio-economic relations in countries and regions concerned. The debate on BRI’s relevance, scope, and potential has only begun, and it remains uncertain how exactly it will unfold. In this context, questions pertinent to regulatory frameworks in the context of which BRI initiatives are implemented belong to the most complex and the most interesting ones. Due to BRI’s novelty and open-endedness, all matters pertaining to its implementation are of exploratory nature; especially the legal aspects of its implementation. This aim of this chapter is to provide insightful answers to legal questions regarding BRI and dispute resolution via the examination of the current legal status of BRI, as well as explore how trust and cultural awareness can contribute to the avoidance of business-related disputes.
From Europe moving forward into Asia, the Silk Road has the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) on the way. These countries alphabetically include: “Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.” While these countries have long been dependent on oil for development, they are currently planning to reduce this dependence and consider innovation as an important mean for future development. This chapter explores the past progress of innovation in the GCC countries; and highlights future directions ahead. In this respect two end countries of the Silk Road, Italy and China, are also considered. The chapter views innovation from the wide angle of the Global Innovation Index, which has 7 main dimensions, consisting of 21 sub-dimensions, which are refined into 81 international indicators. An approach for looking into the current state, the past progress, and the future directions of innovation in the countries concerned is developed and followed using available data. Although the outcome is based on the currently available data, the approach can be re-used for newer data providing continuous benefits to directing future development.
Building ICT Knowledge Capacity for Female Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Socio-economic Growth in the Middle East
The aim of this chapter is to highlight the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) knowledge (ICT-K) for female in socio-economic development in Middle East countries. Currently, men play major roles in the development of Middle East countries without heed being paid to women. The role for women is normally reserved to the home and child caring. Men continue to dominate power structures, education, finance, and travel. Overall levels of women’s ICT entrepreneurship are among the lowest in the Middle East although more women are studying ICT programs in the universities. Even statistics on the number of women entrepreneurs and women’s economic participation are often unavailable or incomplete in this region. Mainly, women’s entrepreneurship and economic participation are relatively limited due to gender-specific barriers to business creation and development, including cultural norms, civil law, or barriers in the business environment. This chapter investigates the challenges and constraints faced, and the support and opportunities available for these female entrepreneurs in ICT. This chapter also presents research on the growing phenomenon of female entrepreneurship in Middle East and suggests a number of ways in which institutions of state and trade – which often act as barriers to women practically running a business – could be overcome.
In 2013, Chinese president Xi Jinping proposed the concept of “One Belt and One Road” economic cooperation. “The Belt and Road Initiative (B&R)” is the short of “The Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21st-century Maritime Silk Road,” which has got a series of remarkable achievements and worldwide attentions in past five years such as Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China–Pakistan Economic Corridor, B&R Forum for International Cooperation, etc. Especially, cross-border EC has greatly strengthened the trade links between countries along the way, which is a rare chance for Chinese Export-oriented Cross-border EC’s rapid growth. Thus, the authors take DHgate.com as a typical example to do a big data analysis. This chapter analyzes vast data from 2013 to 2017 about seven kinds of commodities including Fashion accessories, Jewelry, Sports & Outdoors, Security & Surveillances, Car accessories, Watches, and Hair & Styling by using data mining related software and algorithms. The authors do some monthly sale charts and find a few counter-intuitive but useful conclusions such as by taking association analysis, the study shows that sports products and jewelry products have strong association rules. In addition, for potential products (such as Fashion accessories and Jewelry), although their sales have a certain shock, the overall selling line keep rising. It is possible to put forward some practical suggestions for Chinese Export-oriented Cross-border EC that actively respond to the One Belt One Road Initiative based on these analysis results.
A Framework for the Competitive Intelligence Service System for Strategic Emerging Industries in China
With the advance of the Silk Road Initiative proposed by China, it has been a focus of China government to develop strategic emerging industries. The development of strategic emerging industries needs the support of competitive intelligence on many aspects such as strategical planning, policy making, industrial structure adjustment, and technology innovation. However, so far there are few studies toward the competitive intelligence systems for strategic emerging industries. In this article, we focus on a number of issues related to the competitive intelligence for strategic emerging industries in China. First, we conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis on the situations of strategic emerging industries in China, based on which the necessity of building a competitive intelligence (CI) service system for strategic emerging industries is discussed. Next, the authors present a framework of a CI service system for strategic emerging industries in China. The principles, components, working process, and product forms are deeply described. The CI service system proposed in this article consists of a cooperation network platform, three layered organizations, and three systems, which integrates organizations, information, people, network, and service platforms into an ecosystem to offer competitive intelligence supports for government, industry, and enterprises. Finally, the authors discuss a case study of the proposed CI service system for the new energy automobile industry.
In recent years, a great number of top conferences and workshops on artificial intelligence (AI) were held in China, showing Chinese AI plays an important role in the world. Meanwhile, Chinese government announced an ambitious scheme, “New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan,” for the country to become a world leader in AI technologies by 2030. The AI research in China has covered various aspects, ranging from chips to algorithms. This chapter attempts to give an overview of the recent advances of AI research and development in China, as well as some perspectives on the future development of AI in China.
With the continuous development of intelligent technologies, knowledge graph, the backbone of artificial intelligence, has attracted much attention from both academic and industrial communities due to its powerful capability of knowledge representation and reasoning. Besides, knowledge graph has been widely applied in different kinds of applications, such as semantic search, question answering, knowledge management, and so on. In recent years, knowledge graph techniques in China are also developing rapidly and different Chinese knowledge graphs have been built to support various applications. Under the background of “One Belt One Road (OBOR)” initiative, cooperating with the countries along OBOR on studying knowledge graph techniques and applications will greatly promote the development of artificial intelligence. At the same time, the accumulated experience of China on developing knowledge graph is also a good reference. Thus, in this chapter, the authors mainly introduce the development of Chinese knowledge graphs and their applications. The authors first describe the background of OBOR, and then introduce the concept of knowledge graph and three typical Chinese knowledge graphs, including Zhishi.me, CN-DBpedia, and XLORE. Finally, the authors demonstrate several applications of Chinese knowledge graphs.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – the modern equivalent of the historic Silk Route – will connect China to multiple countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe through a complex web of land and sea routes. As a pilot project of a network of this magnitude, the 62 billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has far-reaching implications for future bilateral agreements with other countries along the routes, and for geopolitics in the region. This chapter will analyze CPEC along the following key strands of inquiry: Pakistan’s internal political economy, her macroeconomic stability, and an analysis of the corridor’s long-term impact.
While the literature on corridors is extensive, it does not give us a unifying theory with which to gauge the effectiveness of CPEC, which is more than an economic endeavor. In order to truly understand the dynamics of the region, the authors examine the extent to which domestic support for the CPEC may impact the whole initiative, and how the deficiencies in local infrastructure may take away from its success.
The case study demonstrates that China and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) energy transformation strategies share many similarities and enjoy a great degree of complementarity. This complementarity is not limited to the territory of the two nations, but has become a successful vehicle for joint Sino-KSA investments in the Arab peninsula as well as in the Middle East and North Africa. Leading to a new paradigm that runs along the lines of China’s staggering Belt and Road Initiative, the convergence of policies represents a new reality due to its potentiality to influence not only the energy sectors of the largest Arab’s economy and world’s most powerful one, but also over their partners.
Cluster Analysis and Overseas Warehouse Assignment of Chinese Smartphones under “The Belt and Road” Initiative
The new Silk Road provides cross-border-e-commerce firms with an opportunity to widen their markets. Under this circumstance, the preference recognition of countries and inventory allocation among overseas warehouses both become critical issues to solve. Three Chinese smartphone brands, including HTC, Huawei, and MI, are selected in this chapter for their relatively enormous sales. DHgate and AliExpress websites are chosen as platforms to analyze the sales for data availability. This chapter first depicts key features of the sales and then, based on which, divide countries into several groups according to their preference for phones by cluster analysis. Then, based on the results of cluster analysis, this chapter further models the inventory assignment among the seven major overseas warehouses that were built by AliExpress in 2015. The results show that the HTC seems to be pursuing the “high value with high price” strategy, while the other two companies seem to be pursuing a hybrid strategy of “low-price” strategy and “high value with low price” strategy. This chapter also provides an assignment pattern of inventory among the overseas warehouses based on the real data of sales and costs.
Recently, sharing economy is gradually accepted by people, and it has expanded from life to knowledge. It is important to encourage people to produce high quality content in knowledge sharing area, and knowledge payment is one of the most effective ways to achieve it. Therefore, the knowledge payment has been regarded as a huge business opportunity, and it is of great meaning to study the development trend and feasibility of knowledge payment. This chapter, through big data methods, analyzes the business model of Zhihu (a Chinese platform of knowledge sharing) after it introduced knowledge payment projects, such as Zhihu Live and Pay Consultation. According to data of Zhihu users’ Q&A, concerned fields and others, this chapter tries to outline its user profile to find out the target groups of different topics, the proper form of knowledge payment and the hot topics of Zhihu Live. Through the analysis of knowledge graph, this chapter finds that Zhihu Live is expected to be the mainstream knowledge payment form in the future, and the most potential topics are mainly focused on science, law, and business. Meanwhile, it establishes a pricing model for Zhihu Live, and provides suggestions for the development of knowledge payment.
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