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Innovation dictates future of companies and countries

Robots performing at a tech fair in Shenzhen last month. The substitute for Chinese labour today is not workers in Vietnam or Bangladesh; it is robots. China is already the second largest importer of robots

INNOVATION has been accelerating since the invention of the steam engine, and the pace is increasing. Consider the telephone: it took 56 years for Alexander Graham Bell's invention to reach half of US households; by comparison, smartphones took seven years to hit the same adoption rate.