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.
The primary goal of any education system should be to support learners. EdTech should improve outcomes and the quality of experience for students and teachers.
A version of this briefing was originally prepared by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and the Tmrw Institute to inform a round-table discussion with ministers of education at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) 2019.
Technological progress has led to radical change throughout the modern world, with organisations built on internet foundations raising citizens’ expectations of what all services should deliver. Yet governments designed for the offline world are failing to keep up. It’s time to bring them up to speed.
A new approach to regulating technology companies will deliver stronger accountability and more freedom to innovate. Bureaucratic regulation designed for legacy industries is a poor fit for the pace and scale of the Internet; a fresh start is the best way to align private incentives with the public interest.
Policymakers should take steps to embrace the promise of AI while preparing for its impact and complications. Doing so would radically transform public-service delivery, allowing governments to better meet citizens’ needs while putting data at the heart of decision-making.
Read our response to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Government Digital Service's call for evidence on digital identity here.
A world infused with new technologies demands courageous, imaginative policy solutions that will both harness technology’s tremendous potential for good and mitigate the displacement effects of rapid change. This is one of the greatest policy challenges of our generation, and one of the biggest gaps in the prospectus across the political spectrum.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is upending the nature of work as we know it. Policymakers are struggling to grapple with this future in the West, but for African countries—and developing countries generally—the outlook appears even more bleak.