The technology realm has been evolving and growing over the past couple of years, but will that growth maintains this wave?

Much of the focus in 2022 and beyond will likely lean towards enhancing sustainability, transparency, agility, digital innovation, and collaboration. 

That leads us to ask, How many years is China ahead of US in technology? 

It’s well-known that for many years the United States and China have competed in technological growth and improvement.

It’s important to know what country is leading in this realm due to its function and potential.

To answer this question, we will discuss things that have occurred and the projections about who is leading and who will lead in the tech world.

How Many Years Is China Ahead Of US In Technology?

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), in 2020 China was about five to seven years behind the United States in chip technology. 

However, China leads in the areas of voice recognition, facial recognition, fintech, and AI applications.

Also, China and Russia both are ahead of the tech game in hypersonic technologies. 

Things might have been different if the pandemic hadn’t plagued the globe, but it did, so now whatever predictions were made are probably not as relevant as they were in 2019 and 2020.

The development of technology didn’t suffer as much over the past two years, but manufacturing of products, including technology did. 

The United States sees China as a geopolitical threat, so the competition between these two nations is strong. You can call them rivals in the tech industry. 

Depending on who you ask, China is already on top in some areas of technology. Others would debate that, but it’s not unusual for nations to be better in some areas and not in others. 

According to reports from the Belfer Center at Harvard, China is a full-spectrum competitor in foundational technologies in this century.

These areas include 5G wireless, biotechnology, artificial intelligence (AI), green energy, and semiconductors. 

How Many Years is China Ahead of US in Technology? – China’s Technological Advances

china tech

In 2021, China generated half of the world’s total mobile phones and computers. Compared to the United States’s 6%, they towered over us in this area. 

China also out manufactured the United Stats in solar panel production by 70 to 1. They also sell four times as many electric vehicles, and nine times the 5G stations.

They offer five times faster network speeds over the United States. 

This data, taken from WSJ’s opinion section, shows that China has the lead over America in the most crucial areas of technology.

The National Security Commission says that China is in a position to take over the United States as the world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030. 

How Many Years is China Ahead of US in Technology? – China’s Technological Advances – China Vs. United States

America maintains its role in semiconductor technology where it has dominated for nearly 50 years, even with China snipping at their heels.

It’s slated to catch up to the United States in chip design and semiconductor fabrication. 

The United States owns seven of the ten most important life sciences organizations in the world. America also leads in CRISPR gene editing tech, but China is narrowing the gap in that arena as well. 

No matter what, these two nations are more often than not, neck-in-neck in the technology game.

China is no longer five to seven years behind the United States like it was in 2020. Instead, it’s begun to overtake the lead in many essential technologies.

How Many Years is China Ahead of US in Technology? – China’s Technological Advances – National Comparisons

In May 2021, US New put out an article with the rankings for top 10 technological expertise. This data is ranked by perception, according to the article. 

Here are the rankings:

  • #1 – Japan – Best overall rank is 2
  • #2 – South Korea – Best overall rank is 15
  • #3 – China – Best overall rank is 17
  • #4 – United States – Best overall rank is 6
  • #5 – Germany – Best overall rank is 3
  • #6 – Russia – Best overall rank is 24
  • #7 – United Kingdom – Best overall rank is 8
  • #8 – Singapore – Best overall rank is 14
  • #9 – Israel – Best overall rank is 30
  • #10 – Switzerland – Best overall rank is 4

As you can see, the perception rank and overall rank is different. In some cases, there is a large span between the two.

This is because it depends on the areas of technology and the expertise of each nation. If you’ll notice, China’s perception rank is third with the United States at fourth.

However, the overall ranking in technology between the two is China at number 17 and the United States is number 6. 

Differing Viewpoints: How Many Years is China Ahead of US in Technology?

china vs us technology

Unfortunately, much of the information found online about the China and United States technology competition is political, but we try to read between the lines to bring you just the data.

According to a piece on Protocol, IISS (the Peking University Institute of International and Strategic Studies), prior to the start of the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, China and the United States will both lose something from the decoupling.

This piece reported that China would bode worse than the United States in the technology realm.

So, you can see how this is a controversial topic with almost opposite positions, or at least differing opinions.


It’s safe to say that both America and China are about equal, depending on what kind of technology, the expertise of the people in the nation, and the management of technology. 

Naturally, there is always the chance that either nation can take over across technological advancements. Therefore, speculation sneaks into the opinions. However, what about the actual numbers? 

It’s difficult to find actual real data since this is such a geopolitical topic. Neither nation wants the world to know what they have or what they are working on in the tech world.

We have provided the most updated information related to “how many years is China ahead of US in technology”. 

Between some opinions, some speculations, and some real data, we can gather that China leads in areas of AI, voice and facial recognition, hypersonic technology, and other technologies.