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Business trends

Alibaba and Tencent in hot pursuit of US in innovation potential

Nikkei-Hitotsubashi survey finds Chinese outpacing Americans in R&D spending

Alibaba Group Holding boosted research and development spending by 470% over five years.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Chinese tech leaders, such as e-commerce provider Alibaba Group Holding, are rapidly closing in on their bigger U.S. counterparts when it comes to innovative potential, according to an index published by Nikkei and Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.

The top five U.S. companies are still far ahead in many key metrics, from market capitalization to profit. But Chinese players are spending aggressively and adopting a more flexible leadership style in order to thrive in a rapidly changing industry.

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