Since China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, its economy has grown eight times over. From being the world’s second largest recipient of FDI in the 1990s, the country has been the world’s largest exporter for the last decade. An initial strategy of imitation has now shifted to innovation, with the nation at the forefront of development technologies such as 5G and in areas of Artificial Intelligence. Its digital economy is today worth 30 per cent of its GDP. This primer looks at the state of technology in the nation and the opportunities and challenges this presents.
Infrastructure has always been a priority for promoting productivity and growth. But debate is still focused on that of the last economic era, rather than the cloud, software and data infrastructure that will underwrite the new one. Policymakers must grasp the scale of this new world, understand how it differs from the old, and harness the opportunities ahead.
We need to start building a policy framework to address concerns around content regulation and online harms, backed up by principles that ensures the system is adaptable, works and competing interests are balanced.