The Data China Revolution
Among the biggest challenges facing China is the country’s data revolution. If it can overcome these barriers, it could transform the world’s economy and create a new kind of geopolitical power.
Creating a new kind of geopolitical power
Despite the Chinese government’s attempts to deter neo-liberal capital formation, the Data China Revolution has the potential to do to China what the Internet has done to the rest of the world. A recent report from the IMF has estimated that China’s GDP has jumped more than six percentage points in the last two decades, making the country the second biggest economy in the world. The ensuing fiscal crisis and subsequent easing of capital controls, aided by Chinese state intervention, has also yielded the largest increase in employment since the dawn of the People’s Republic. In fact, according to the OECD, over one million jobs have been added since 2005, most of which are in the service sector. The country is by far the largest exporter of goods and services, and is a leading producer of manufactured goods. As a result, it has become a global economic powerhouse, with its share of the world’s largest firms doubling to around 20 percent over the past two decades.
Catalyzing a new industrial revolution
Taking the next step in its quest to become the world’s leading nation, China has decided to catalyze a new industrial revolution with data. This new digital architecture will disrupt the hierarchy and create new forms of geopolitical power. It requires a multilateral response and creative multilateral coordination.
The key to a successful global digital architecture is to ensure that the rules of the game are fair. Beijing’s initiative relies on subsidies, technology transfer, and market access restrictions. It also involves state-backed foreign acquisitions. This includes the development of physical infrastructure, such as data centers, smart cities, and payment platforms.
This strategy could lock in China’s advantage in the digital era markets. Beijing works to shape the rules of the digital environment from the top down. Chinese commercial actors play a key role in the CCP’s digital strategy.
The strategy focuses on exporting digital technical standards, building virtual networks, and exporting a China-centered system of digital governance. It also involves a redefinition of the stakes of information presence.
Challenge to America’s economic dominance on the internet
Having been in the trenches for the last couple of decades, we have been forced to come to terms with the reality that we are not the only ones who want to be on top of the game. The aforementioned acronym ain’t exactly on the same pedestal as the AFC, but they may be a couple of rows behind the eagle scouts on the other side of the chessboard. This hasn’t stopped a few of our friends and foes from making their moves to the north and south. The competition is rife with the best of the best and a few a hombres who are not so fond of booze. The aforementioned aforementioned acronym may well be a worthy contender to the fore in the ring hors a hors a horse fight.
Barriers to the release of open government data in China
Despite the growing awareness of the benefits of releasing public sector information as open data, there is still a lack of understanding of the potential barriers to implementation and adoption. This is particularly true at the local and national government levels. Several initiatives have been introduced by the private sector, but efforts are uneven across sectors. These efforts are waiting for the development of the appropriate laws and regulations. The OECD has identified insufficient coherence between data governance frameworks, which can inhibit cross-sector data sharing.
The emergence of Chinese data-related legislation in recent years will have a significant impact on organizations that handle data within China’s borders. The draft Cybersecurity Law, for example, introduced a series of requirements and recommendations to organizations handling information. These high-level requirements often conflict with U.S. policies, such as the Privacy Shield. These restrictions can stifle data flow, limiting the nation’s overall productivity and economy. These restrictions are also estimated to increase downstream prices for downstream industries.