Potential pitfalls to being early adopters of tech

China has been singled out as the country we should benchmark ourselves against in our pursuit of becoming a cashless society.

It is important to note that the Internet boom in China happened in tandem with the rise of mobile smartphones.

For many in China, the Internet is mobile - they have not experienced it on any other platform or device.

Such a scenario allowed e-payment services to naturally develop and be embraced.

While China is now ahead, there is a potential price for any early adopter of new technology to pay.

Japan, for example, was the first in the world to broadcast television signals in high definition (HD).

However, it found itself having to play catch-up with the rest of the world after newer digital HD standards were ratified worldwide, rendering its analog version obsolete.

We certainly want to implement the best system worthy of emulation by other countries, but we don't need to rush into being the first.

Ethan Guo