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Chinese value entrepreneurship

Updated: May 11,2015 11:44 AM

The most critical step for innovation is the need to remove obstacles that might hold back those who would invent the next iPhone or Uber or create the next giant tech firm like Alibaba or SoftBank. Often the biggest obstacle is a person’s fear of failure or the potential shame in having a fresh idea squashed from the get-go. Entrepreneurs need to be able to challenge old ways of thinking and make mistakes.

For China, the good news is that its people are embracing values that breed modern-style entrepreneurship. The latest indicator is a study at the University of California, Los Angeles that looked at certain words used in more than 270,000 Chinese-language books published between 1970 and 2008.

It found words like “innovation” and “autonomy” were used with increasing frequency during this period when China moved away from a collectivist society that was largely Confucian and Maoist. In comparison, words like “obliged” or “communal” either declined or rose at a slower rate.

“Of all the values assessed in this study, innovation is perhaps the one with the greatest significance in a market economy,” the authors found.

-- By Christian Science Monitor, published on March 5, 2015