CPA Australia: Mainland Chinese businesses lead the way in technology usage in Asia Pacific

August 26, 2021 - 10:48
CPA Australia: Mainland Chinese businesses lead the way in technology usage in Asia Pacific
  • Survey reveals Mainland Chinese businesses lead technology usage in region.
  • 91 per cent of survey respondents expect to increase technology investment.
  • Cybersecurity concerns identified as a key barrier to technology adoption.

BEIJING, CHINA - Media OutReach - 27 August 2021 - Mainland Chinese businesses were strong performers in technology adoption and innovation over the past year, according to one of the world's largest professional accounting bodies, CPA Australia.


Among surveyed markets, they were the most likely to use artificial intelligence (AI), business intelligence (BI) software, customer relationship management (CRM) software, data analytics and visualisation software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software in the past 12 months. The survey also found that high growth businesses are much more likely to use these technologies than other businesses.


Further, 96 per cent of surveyed respondents reported that their employers undertook at least one technology-related project in the past 12 months, the highest among all surveyed markets.


CPA Australia surveyed 725 professionals in different industries from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. The survey results are included in CPA Australia's Businesses Technology Report 2021.


"It's very positive to see that Mainland Chinese businesses are leading usage in almost all these technologies," said Tony Chan, Deputy President of CPA Australia's South China Committee, "We are glad to see Mainland Chinese businesses have undertaken various technology-related projects.


"There is a connection between technology usage and business performance. Their strong focus on digitalisation and innovation will enable Mainland Chinese businesses to not only keep pace with new technology trends, but also to lead them," Chan said.


"With Mainland China's 14th Five-Year Plan identifying innovation and technology as a core national priority, combined with favourable policies announced by the central and local governments as well as the rapid deployment of 5G technology, we are confident this positive trend will continue," Chan said.


Ninety-one per cent of Mainland Chinese respondents expect their employers to increase investment in or use of various technologies in the coming 12 months. Data analytics and visualisation software, cloud technology, BI software and AI are the technologies that Mainland Chinese businesses will most likely increase investment in or use of in the next 12 months.


Although strong technology adoption has brought many benefits, it's not without its challenges. According to the survey, respondents from Mainland China were the most likely of the markets surveyed to identify cybersecurity concerns as a key barrier to business technology adoption.

"The survey findings show that Mainland Chinese companies are more likely to adopt and invest in advanced technologies such as AI and BI software that rely heavily on data. It's therefore not surprising that 41 per cent of Mainland Chinese respondents nominated cybersecurity concerns as a major challenge to business technology adoption," said Wilson Feng, Member of CPA Australia's East and Central China Committee.


"The data reveals that Mainland Chinese businesses are taking action to meet this challenge. Forty-seven per cent of surveyed respondents from Mainland China reported that their employers had increased investment in cybersecurity software in the past 12 months. Twenty-eight per cent expect their employers to increase investment in cybersecurity software in the next 12 months," Feng said.

"It is essential that digital transformation and risks mitigation go hand in hand. Businesses should also plan and execute strategies that manage potential risks to their network, data and technology tools to ensure that the organisation is safeguarded from threats." Feng said.

CPA Australia technology recommendations

  1. Implement a long-term digital transformation strategy that aligns technology with your business' culture, employees, risks and objectives, and embrace opportunities in the global market.
  2. Take advantage of the 14th Five-Year Plan's focus on technology innovation to introduce new products and services.
  3. Encourage innovation by developing a technology talent pool and adopting innovative approaches to retain top technology talent.
  4. Keep abreast of emerging technologies and utilise big data to keep improving business operations and increase international competitiveness
  5. Review compliance with cybersecurity and relevant data security laws and policies in Mainland China.  
  6. Commit appropriate resources to raising employees' cybersecurity awareness.

Businesses Technology Report 2021 (English only) 

About CPA Australia

CPA Australia is one of the largest professional accounting bodies in the world, with more than 168,000 members in over 100 countries and regions, including more than 20,000 members in Greater China. We have offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Our core services include education, training, technical support and advocacy. CPA Australia provides thought leadership on local, national and international issues affecting the accounting profession and public interest. We engage with governments, regulators and industries to advocate policies that stimulate sustainable economic growth and have positive business and public outcomes. Find out more at