The Chinese Invention of Movable Type
The Chinese invention of movable type, credited to Bi Sheng in the year 1045 AD, did not significantly impact Chinese society.
Four hundred years later in Europe, Gutenberg's development of movable type revolutionized the Western world. Why?
The Chinese language uses at least 5000 characters in an average book. The English language, in comparison, uses 26 letters. Clearly, manipulating 5000 characters on a printing press took much longer than moving 26.