China was blooming in the middle ages. Their people were creating wonderful inventions like the cannon, the printing press and the compass.
In 1045 AD Bi Sheng created the first movable type printing press. it seemed to have little to no effect on Chinese society. 300 years later in Europe Gutenberg development did. Why? the Chinese language had over 5000 letters, English language only has 26. wouldn't you rather have to use 26 characters instead of 5000, still the invention of the printing press is an astounding leap in technology.