Change of Digital dependence of Tech-Middle-Powers: Three Weightings from 2010 to 2019 (in percent)
The portrayed middle powers don’t possess comparable technology capacities like the US and China, even though their industry, research, and innovation have retained globally prominent roles. In the last decade, most technology middle powers’ digital dependences, such as Germany, France, and the UK’s digital dependence, remained at the same level. In contrast, South Korea and Japan’s digital dependence changed from 2010 to 2019. While South Korea became less dependent, Japan became dramatically more dependent in all three sectors. Hence, the sustainability of Japanese economic development should be under scrutiny. In contrast, South Korean industry and infrastructure policies showed success.
Change of Autonomy Gaps (in percent): Driving forces in Comparison
Why did the autonomy gap between technology middle powers and the USA increase? The following graphic shows that the information infrastructure is the most relevant driver for changes in digital dependence scores. The average increase of the tech middle powers’ dependences on information infrastructure operated by US firms is 23 percent. In contrast, the average growth of their dependences on ICT trade was 19 percent and on foreign intellectual property three percent (not accounting for the extreme case of Japan).
Change of Bilateral Dependence on the US and China in ICT-Trade in Goods (in percent)
The shifts in global trade and production networks for information technologies follow a clear trend. The leading global economies became more dependent on China’s ICT goods. Aside from Israel and Singapore, most technology middle power countries became more dependent on China regarding ICT trades. In contrast, most middle powers became less dependent on the US concerning ICT trade except for Japan and Canada.