Majid Khan delivers a speech during a symposium in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, in September (COURTESY PHOTO)
My decision to come to China was largely influenced by the promising academic prospects and cultural richness the country offers. I arrived in China in 2014 and obtained a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Since 2020, I have been working at the University of Science and Technology Beijing.
My academic research focuses on the prediction of geological disasters and the exploration of natural resources, encompassing oil, gas and minerals. The annual toll of lives lost due to natural and human-induced disasters underscores the critical need and importance of accurate prediction and effective prevention strategies. This is where my dedication comes into play. My efforts aim to make a real difference by saving lives and promoting sustainable development, both within China and worldwide.
One of my recent research projects is about predicting potential geological disasters arising from active faults within the region, addressing challenges related to groundwater deficiency and ensuring the stability of critical infrastructure such as underground tunnels, including subways. Beijing has a total of 15 active geological fault lines suggesting earthquake risks. The project focuses on ensuring the safety of city life in Beijing in general and the significance for hazard prediction associated with underground geological conditions in specific.
For me, Beijing serves as a global hub for advanced education and research in various fields, which aligns well with my academic and professional pursuits. Beijing's dynamic energy, opportunities for personal and intellectual growth, and the chance to immerse myself in a unique blend of tradition and progress make the city a charming place. Also, its rich historical and cultural heritage combined with its modern vibrancy, ancient landmarks like the Great Wall and the Palace Museum with cutting-edge architecture and technological innovation, diverse culinary scene, offering both traditional Chinese cuisine and international flavors, are the factors appealing to me.
In recent years, China has emerged as a significant contributor to global technological advancements and the realm of international entrepreneurship. China, including both the government and the public, is enthusiastic about collaborating in entrepreneurship. This extends to foreigners, and the process of obtaining licenses is designed to support and encourage a thriving business environment.
The progression of the tech and digital economy in China has been truly remarkable for which I am an eye-witness. China has witnessed a rapid transformation, evolving into a global technology powerhouse. This growth is evident across various sectors, including e-commerce, fintech, artificial intelligence and 5G technology. The digital infrastructure, innovative ecosystems and government support have collectively contributed to this phenomenal advancement. These developments offer a wealth of opportunities. Besides, the collaborative nature and connectivity within China's tech community offer a rich pool of resources and networking possibilities. This enhances the potential for idea generation, innovation and the successful execution of tech-focused business initiatives.
I see great potential in the Chinese market with its dynamic changes in recent years. Chinese consumers have become more tech-savvy, seeking quality products and innovative services. The use of artificial intelligence, big data analytics and tailored marketing strategies have contributed to a more efficient and engaging interaction between businesses and consumers. Especially, the shift toward sustainability is noticeable, driving demand for eco-friendly options. Technology integration has personalized the consumer experience, creating opportunities for businesses to connect more effectively. This evolving landscape offers a promising platform for entrepreneurs to meet changing demands and thrive.
China's progress in opening up and improving the business environment is encouraging. I think expanding market access for foreigners and international companies, as well as better language support, could be areas of improvement for future growth.
The author is a Pakistani professor at the University of Science and Technology Beijing School of Civil and Resource Engineering
Copyedited by G.P. Wilson
Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org