For years Silicon Valley dismissed Chinese tech firms--first as an irrelevance, then as industrial spies and copycats. Most recently China has been seen as a tech Galapagos, where unique species thrive than would never spread abroad. But as our Schumpeter column explains this week, China’s technology industry has been catching up far faster than expected.
A technology revolution is now sweeping the world, and the countries that most effectively seize the opportunities it creates will dominate the 21st century. Nowhere is the revolution more transformative for lives, livelihoods, security and prosperity than in the field of artificial intelligence. AI will shift the balance of power in both the global economy and international relations, because the countries that master AI first will have a crucial strategic advantage in writing the rules for the next global order.
China is a rising power in artificial intelligence. This white paper, a collaboration between Eurasia Group and Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, a leading AI researcher and founder of Sinovation Ventures, provides an in-depth view of China's AI sector, detailing where it lags and where it is leap-frogging ahead of the United States in the most important technology race of the 21st century.
Human rights activists say they fear the authorities could use that power to track down dissidents, citing cases from more than a decade ago in which Yahoo Inc handed over user data that led to arrests and prison sentences for two democracy advocates. Jing Zhao, a human rights activist and Apple shareholder, said he could envisage worse human rights issues arising from Apple handing over iCloud data than occurred in the Yahoo case.
One thing about Huawei that particularly brothers the U.S. government is its founder, Ren Zhengfei, who is a former officer of the People’s Liberation Army, the armed force of China and the country’s Communist Party. This is hardly the first time the U.S. government has expressed concerns over Chinese tech companies’ ties with the country’s government.
In December 2016, CHX filed a proposed rule change, pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that would allow a group, led by Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group, to acquire the exchange. The SEC on Thursday blocked the $25 million takeover due to concerns about the ability of the Chicago exchange “to ensure ongoing compliance” with ownership and voting limitations. Moreover, the Commission questioned whether “the proposed ownership structure” would allow it “to exercise sufficient oversight” of the exchange.
Republican Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he worried about the spread in the United States of what he called "counterintelligence and information security risks that come prepackaged with the goods and services of certain overseas vendors."
The Chinese New Year began with the traditional lighting of firecrackers on Friday, but the country's military has been working on incendiaries on an entirely different scale. Over the past year, the nation that invented gunpowder has been rolling out an array of high-tech weapons that some experts say could threaten the global superiority of the United States.
Amid heightened concern about Russian election meddling, the FBI on Tuesday warned U.S. universities about Chinese intelligence operatives active on their campuses, adding that many academics display “a level of naiveté” about the level of infiltration.