Korea’s steel, petrochemical and smartphone industries are expected to maintain a competitive edge over China for only around five more years, studies suggest.
The Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade in a report earlier this month said Chinese companies are catching up with their Korean rivals in terms of quality and technology.
The report covered the automotive, shipbuilding, general machinery, steel, petrochemical, textile, food, home appliance, mobile communication device, display and semiconductor industries.
China has already overtaken Korea in some industries. Some data suggest China is now 10 percent ahead of Korea in non-memory semiconductor technology, which accounts for 75 percent of the global chip market.
According to the Korea International Trade Association, China ranked second in a quarter of the 68 products where Korea leads the world as of 2015. Ahn Hyun-ho at Samjung KPMG said, “At this rate China will overtake us in all areas except memory chips, so we urgently need to come up with ways of preventing that.”
In major markets around the world China no longer lags behind Korea. Thanks to massive research and development spending and aggressive government support, Chinese companies have quickly narrowed the technological gap with Korean firms.
KIET said the quality of Chinese home appliances stands at 90 percent of their Korean rivals’ and is expected to catch up five years from now. The gap with Chinese smartphones will narrow from 10 to five percent.
When it comes to cars, China is now at 80 to 85 percent of Korea’s quality, and is expected to catch up to 90 to 95 percent.
The Original Posted by By Kim Seung-bum/The Chosunilbo