Chinese companies have moved beyond copying others' technologies as the world's second-largest economy now leads the way in many areas, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"Even today, there is still a lot of thinking and belief that China is a copycat, which is not true," said Raymund Chao, PwC's chairman for Asia Pacific and Greater China.
China is helping to pave the way in many sectors, including financial technology, drones, artificial intelligence and mobile payments, Chao told CNBC on Monday from the sidelines of the Asia Financial Forum.
Beijing has unleashed a slew of plans in recent years to take China into its new phase of growth and those developments are driving a "new way of growth" in the economy, he added.
Even traditional sectors are upgrading their manufacturing and creating "a lot" of innovation, Chao said.