United States Widens Lead Over China as Most Promising Source of Disruptive Technologies

Top three U.S. tech hubs outside Silicon Valley/San Francisco are New York, Austin, and Boston; only 37% believe center of innovation will move from Silicon Valley

Toronto, ON (Mar. 5, 2020) – Technology leaders regard the United States as the most promising market for developing disruptive technologies, with more than twice as many saying it’s ahead of China and India, which tied for second in KPMG’s 2020 Global Technology Industry Innovation Survey.

The finding is one of several insights in a new report based on the survey of 810 technology industry leaders globally.

“We believe that survey respondents perceive the current U.S. stance on technology and intellectual property, as it pertains to China, means that China must now spend more time and resources to develop its own domestic innovation ecosystem,” said Tim Zanni, KPMG Global and U.S. Technology Sector Leader.

When considering the most promising country for developing disruptive technologies with a global impact, 28% named the U.S. and 13% named China and India. The 15-point gap more than doubled last year’s differential with China, while India leaped from sixth a year ago to tie for second. Rounding out the top five countries, Japan and the United Kingdom tied for fourth.

New Cities Rise in Hub Rankings

KPMG’s study revealed which cities, in addition to presumed global leader Silicon Valley/San Francisco, will be leading technology innovation hubs over the next four years. Singapore, seventh last year, leaped to the top of this year’s global rankings. Singapore offers an advanced IT infrastructure, strong government support and IP protection laws, and a deep pool of talent. London moved up one notch to second. Tel Aviv, 15th last year, rocketed to third place. Bengaluru ranked 9th, jumping from 18th a year ago.

The top five U.S. cities in this year’s global rankings, excluding Silicon Valley/San Francisco: New York placed fifth globally after topping the global list a year ago when it rode a wave of investment announcements from Google, Amazon, and Apple. Austin, U.S. number two, came in 11th globally, Boston landed 12th globally this year, followed by Chicago, tied for 13th with Berlin, and Dallas at 19th.

2020 Top 20 global city rankings outside Silicon Valley/San Francisco

(2019 Top 20 in parentheses, NR = not ranked in the Top 20)

  1. Singapore (7)
  2. London (3)
  3. Tel Aviv (15)
  4. Tokyo (3)
  5. New York City, NY (1)
  6. Shanghai (5)
  7. Beijing (2)
  8. Seoul (8)
  9. Bengaluru (18)
  10. Hong Kong SAR, China (12)
  11. Austin, TX (9)
  12. Boston, MA (9)
  13. Berlin (11) and Chicago (20)
  14. Frankfurt (NR)
  15. Mumbai (NR)
  16. Shenzhen (NR)
  17. Montreal (NR)
  18. Dallas (NR)
  19. Taipei (5)

Silicon Valley’s stronger position

Only 37% of respondents, compared to 58% last year, said it was likely the innovation center of the world would move from Silicon Valley in the next four years. One possible explanation: the U.S stance to keep more proprietary knowledge and intellectual property within the U.S. will make it even harder for a city outside the U.S. to overtake Silicon Valley as the innovation center in the next four years.

The top two reasons the 37% believed Silicon Valley would lose its top position:

  • The innovation/entrepreneurial infrastructure of other cities will match or exceed Silicon Valley.
  • The rise of the gig economy and virtual collaboration tools enable innovation anywhere.

The cost of doing business, cost of living, and congestion, ranked last.

About the Survey

The 2020 KPMG Technology Industry Innovation Survey, in its eighth year, consisted of 810 technology leaders (54% C-level executives) across twelve countries. The online survey was conducted from December 2019 to January 2020.


KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 219,000 professionals working in 147 countries and territories. Learn more at www.kpmg.com/us.

KPMG is one of the world’s leading professional services firms, providing innovative business solutions and audit, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s largest and most prestigious organizations.

The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative, a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. For more information, visit kpmg.ca.

Source: KPMG LLP

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