France top ‘Digital Riser,’ China gains significantly, U.S. loses, report finds

Paul Barker | Sep 09, 2020 | The News

Across the globe, digital incumbents face new and dynamic competitors and within the G7, France was able to advance most in its relative digital competitiveness between 2017 and 2019, which makes the country  top “Digital Riser” in this group, findings in a new survey reveals. Conversely, Italy and Germany decreased most within the G7.

Entitled Digital Riser Report 2020 and devised by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness by ESCP Business School in Berlin,  the ranking also reveals clear dynamics regarding the two global digital superpowers, in that it shows that China has gained significantly in digital competitiveness, while the U.S. has lost out over the same time period.

While countries such as the U.S, Sweden and Singapore are often perceived as digital champions, the study indicates that they are not necessarily dynamic Digital Risers. Only Singapore has managed to improve its relative position slightly over the last three years.

In contrast, the U.S. and Sweden have lost ground over the same period.

“We are in the middle of a digital revolution that is very likely being accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Professor Philip Meissner of the European Centre for Digital Competitiveness by ESCP Business School Berlin campus.

The top Digital Risers all had one thing in common: they have followed comprehensive, swiftly implemented plans along a long-term vision around digitization and entrepreneurship. France's example shows that governments that invest heavily in start-ups and employ lighthouse projects such as La French Tech can greatly increase their country's digital competitiveness in a short time frame.

The report analyzes the progress of 140 nations along the mindset and ecosystem dimensions by looking at the absolute, accumulated change in ranks between 2017 and 2019.

Countries were analyzed and compared relative to their peers in terms of regions (e.g. Europe and North America) or group membership (e.g. G20), to ensure the comparability of results relative to a comparative baseline.

“There are two major differences between the Global Competitiveness Report and the Digital Riser Report,” a release stated.

“First, whereas the Global Competitiveness Report analyzes the countries’ overall competitiveness, the Digital Riser Report analyzes their digital competitiveness only as indicated by their digital ecosystem and mindset.

“Second, whereas the Global Competitiveness Report analyzes changes over a one-year time frame, the Digital Riser Report showcases how countries have fared during the last three years.”

Further information is available at