The U.S. and China as Peer Competitors in the Indo-Pacific

Paul Haenle & Abigail Grace from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
The Trump administration has taken a more confrontational approach to bilateral relations with China, implementing tariffs on nearly half of all Chinese exports to the U.S. and treating Beijing as a strategic competitor across many aspects of the...

Viewpoint

10.05.18

Banning Chinese Students is Not in the U.S. National Interest

Chang Chiu & Thomas Kellogg
President Donald Trump has made no secret of his desire to radically revamp America’s immigration policies. Indeed, his family separation policies, which sparked nationwide protests and public revulsion after they were rolled out in May 2018, were...

Technology and Innovation in an Era of U.S.-China Strategic Competition

Paul Haenle & Elsa Kania from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
China has taken significant steps to implement national strategies and encourage investment in order to surpass the U.S. in high tech fields like artificial intelligence. In this podcast, Paul Haenle sat down with Elsa Kania, adjunct fellow at the...

Infographics

08.15.18

Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that Xi Jinping launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about more than 2,000 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources.

China Has Outspent the US by $24 Billion in 5G Technology since 2015, Study Shows

Arjun Kharpal
CNBC
China has in recent years outspent the U.S. by $24 billion in the area of next-generation mobile internet technology known as 5G, potentially creating a "tsunami" that will be difficult to catch up with,...

China Claims to Have Successfully Tested Its First Hypersonic Aircraft

Jessie Yeung
CNN
The China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA), based in Beijing and part of the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, conducted the first test of the "Starry Sky-2" aircraft last Friday...

How China Is Evolving From a Maker of Copycat Medicines Into a Producer of Complex Drugs

Preetika Rana
Wall Street Journal
At a cancer conference in Chicago in June last year, a little-known Chinese startup stunned researchers with early results showing its experimental gene therapy was abating an aggressive form of blood cancer in patients back home.

Germany Toughens Stance and Blocks China Deal

Arne Delfs
Sydney Morning Herald
Merkel's cabinet on Wednesday voted to block the potential purchase of German machine tool manufacturer Leifeld Metal Spinning by a Chinese investor. The government took the precautionary measure even though the Yantai Taihai Group indicated at...

Whistleblower Reveals Google’s Plans for Censored Search in China

James Vincent
Verge
According to internal documents provided to The Intercept by a whistleblower, Google has been developing a censored version of its search engine under the codename “Dragonfly” since the beginning of 2017. The search engine is being built as an...

Disgraced Former Chinese Internet Tzar Lu Wei Charged with Bribery

James Griffiths
CNN
Lu Wei “accepted a large number of bribes” during his time as national propaganda chief, head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, deputy head of the official Xinhua news agency, and as a Beijing city official, according to state media.

China Set to Leapfrog US in the AI Race

Tristan Greene
It’s only been a year since TNW reported China’s announcement it was shifting its national strategy to claim the artificial intelligence crown. In that time China has advanced its agenda to a startling degree, at least according to the experts.

Conversation

07.30.18

China May Become the World’s Leader in AI. But at What Cost?

Andrew Batson, Virgilio Bisio & more
The unprecedented amounts of data Chinese tech giants like Baidu and Alibaba collect is helping accelerate China’s development of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) applications, including facial recognition, automated retail operations, and...

From a Space Station in Argentina, China Expands Its Reach in Latin America

Ernesto Londoño
New York Times
The giant antenna rises from the desert floor like an apparition, a gleaming metal tower jutting 16 stories above an endless wind-whipped stretch of Patagonia. The 450-ton device, with its hulking dish embracing the open skies, is the centerpiece of...

Facebook’s Return to China Thrown into Doubt

BBC
The company, like all major US tech platforms, has been blocked in the country since 2009. Facebook said on Wednesday it had secured a licence to set up an “innovation hub to support Chinese developers, innovators and start-ups”. But 24 hours later...

Chinese Internet Users Employ the Blockchain to Share a Censored News Article

Shannon Liao
Verge
Chinese netizens have turned to blockchain to share a censored news story about faulty vaccines given to small babies. Their efforts to repost an investigative piece about a large vaccine maker were largely thwarted by Internet monitors, but by...

Big Investors Are Placing Bets on China’s Facial Recognition Start-Ups

Jamie Condliffe
New York Times
In the past week, Chinese facial recognition companies, according to a pair of reports, were close to raising as much as $1.6 billion.

U.S.-China Tensions over Trade and Technology

Paul Haenle & Chen Dingding from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Chen says deteriorating bilateral relations are due to both the Trump administration’s trade policies and to a growing U.S. consensus that foreign policy toward China should be reevaluated. The Chinese government’s view that industrial policy is a...

Surveillance Fears Cloud China’s ‘Digital Silk Road’

Nyshka Chadran
CNBC
A major element of China’s continent-spanning Belt and Road Initiative has nothing to do with roads, ports or power plants.

Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras

Paul Mozur
New York Times
In the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, a police officer wearing facial recognition glasses spotted a heroin smuggler at a train station.

Ex-Apple Engineer Arrested on His Way to China, Charged with Stealing Company’s Autonomous Car Secrets

Allyson Chiu
Washington Post
For about two years, Xiaolang Zhang was privy to information to which many in the tech world can only dream of having access: the inner workings of Apple’s secretive autonomous car research.

Welcome to China, Tesla. Now Time to Cough Up

Anjani Trivedi
Bloomberg
Welcome to China, Elon. Let’s talk about how this is going to work.

Trump Moves to Block China Mobile's U.S. Entry on Security Concerns

Brenda Goh, Sijia Jiang
Reuters
The U.S. government has moved to block China Mobile (0941.HK) from offering services to the country’s telecommunications market, recommending its application be rejected because the firm posed national security risks.

Made in China 2025

Paul Haenle & Paul Triolo from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
China’s “Made in China 2025” policy to upgrade its industry plays a central role in the ongoing U.S.-China trade tensions. Paul Haenle sat down with Paul Triolo, practice head of Geo-technology at the Eurasia Group, to discuss how the Chinese...

Depth of Field

06.28.18

Staying on Point in Rural China

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
In this edition of Depth of Field: aspiring ballerinas, what’s beneath the gilt in a rich Zhejiang town, worn out doctors, disappearing schools, melting snow, data farms, and the powerful appeal of dancing outdoors.

Meituan Wants to Be the Grubhub of China (and the Yelp, and the Groupon, and the Kayak)

Liza Lin
Wall Street Journal
China’s burgeoning middle class, which increasingly is going online for everything from ordering lunch to booking hotel rooms, is fueling expectations that an 8-year-old startup with an innovative smartphone app will go public at a lofty $60 billion...

John Oliver, Having Mocked Chinese Censorship, Is Censored in China

Tiffany May
New York Times
In a 20-minute segment about China that aired Sunday on the satirical news show “Last Week Tonight,” the host John Oliver brought up President Xi Jinping’s resemblance to Winnie the Pooh.

Books

06.20.18

The Third Revolution

Elizabeth C. Economy
Oxford University Press: In The Third Revolution, eminent China scholar Elizabeth C. Economy provides an incisive look at the transformative changes underway in China today. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has unleashed a powerful set of political and economic reforms: the centralization of power under Xi, himself; the expansion of the Communist Party’s role in Chinese political, social, and economic life; and the construction of a virtual wall of regulations to control more closely the exchange of ideas and capital between China and the outside world. Beyond its borders, Beijing has recast itself as a great power, seeking to reclaim its past glory and to create a system of international norms that better serves its more ambitious geostrategic objectives. In so doing, the Chinese leadership is reversing the trends toward greater political and economic opening, as well as the low-profile foreign policy, that had been put in motion by Deng Xiaoping’s “Second Revolution” 30 years earlier.Through a wide-ranging exploration of Xi Jinping’s top political, economic, and foreign policy priorities—fighting corruption, managing the Internet, reforming the state-owned enterprise sector, improving the country’s innovation capacity, enhancing air quality, and elevating China’s presence on the global stage—Economy identifies the tensions, shortcomings, and successes of Xi’s reform efforts over the course of his first five years in office. She also assesses their implications for the rest of the world, and provides recommendations for how the United States and others should navigate their relationship with this vast nation in the coming years.{chop}

China’s Social Credit System Spreads to More Daily Transactions

Jack Karsten and Darrell M. West
Brookings Institution
In May, enforcement of China’s social credit system spread to the travel industry, restricting millions of Chinese citizens with low social credit scores from purchasing plane and train tickets.

Books

06.13.18

Censored

Margaret E. Roberts
Princeton University Press: As authoritarian governments around the world develop sophisticated technologies for controlling information, many observers have predicted that these controls would be ineffective because they are easily thwarted and evaded by savvy Internet users. In Censored, Margaret Roberts demonstrates that even censorship that is easy to circumvent can still be enormously effective. Taking advantage of digital data harvested from the Chinese Internet and leaks from China’s Propaganda Department, this book sheds light on how and when censorship influences the Chinese public.Roberts finds that much of censorship in China works not by making information impossible to access but by requiring those seeking information to spend extra time and money for access. By inconveniencing users, censorship diverts the attention of citizens and powerfully shapes the spread of information. When Internet users notice blatant censorship, they are willing to compensate for better access. But subtler censorship, such as burying search results or introducing distracting information on the web, is more effective because users are less aware of it. Roberts challenges the conventional wisdom that online censorship is undermined when it is incomplete and shows instead how censorship’s porous nature is used strategically to divide the public.Drawing parallels between censorship in China and the way information is manipulated in the United States and other democracies, Roberts reveals how Internet users are susceptible to control even in the most open societies. Demonstrating how censorship travels across countries and technologies, Censored gives an unprecedented view of how governments encroach on the media consumption of citizens.{chop}

A World in Transition

Paul Haenle & William J. Burns from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
As the world is in the midst of considerable uncertainty and transition, Ambassador William J. Burns points to the emergence of rising powers like China and India, challenges to regional order in the Middle East, and revolutions in new technologies...

In China’s Booming Tech Scene, Women Battle Sexism and Conservative Values

Cate Cadell, Adam Jourdan
Reuters
Ms Li has a day job in the marketing department of one of China’s biggest tech firms.

Here’s What We Know about China’s Future Space Station

Echo Huang
Quartz
China’s going to start sending parts of its future space station into space as soon as 2020, with the aim of having it up and running by 2022.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Calls Blockchain a ‘Breakthrough’ Technology

Evelyn Cheng
CNBC
Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech this week that blockchain — the technology underlying bitcoin — has “breakthrough” applications.

Trump Announces Tariffs on China, Tech Crackdown Ahead of Key Trade Meeting

David J. Lynch
Washington Post
Trump slaps $50B tariffs as Commerce Secretary is due to arrive in Beijing on Saturday for talks.

U.S.and China Clash over 'Technology Transfer' at WTO

Tom Miles
Reuters
Chinese and U.S. envoys sparred over Trump’s claims that China steals American ideas.

China's Ant Financial Raises $10 Billion at $150 Billion Valuation: Sources

Kane Wu
Reuters
The capital-raising comes ahead of a widely expected initial public offering.

China’s ‘Digital City’ Showcases Xi’s Grand Ambition

Yizhen Jia and Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
Transformation of rural backwater into the new Shenzhen is still some way off.

Killing Spurs Didi, China’s Ride-Hailing Giant, to Revamp Its Service

Elsie Chen and Mengxue Ou
New York Times
Didi Chuxing, China’s wildly popular ride-sharing service, said on Wednesday that it would overhaul its app and its safety and security practices, after reports that a passenger had been raped and killed by her driver.

In Silicon Valley, Chinese ‘Accelerators’ Aim to Bring Startups Home

Koh Gui Qing, Salvador Rodriguez
Reuters
Beijing’s unslakeable thirst for the latest technology has spurred a proliferation of “accelerators” in Silicon Valley that aim to identify promising startups and bring them to China.

OneSpace Launches China’s First Private Rocket

Michelle Toh and Serenitie Wang
CNN
OneSpace, a startup based in Beijing, on Thursday became the country’s first private company to launch its own rocket.

Trump, China, ZTE and the Art of the Deal

Stephen Collinson
CNN
ZTE case offers insight into Trump’s way of doing business.

Take a Look around Huawei’s Headquarters in China

Uptin Saiidi
CNBC
It’s several minutes before noon on a Thursday afternoon at Huawei’s headquarters.

ZTE Is Now Center Stage in the US-China Trade Fight

Sherisse Pham
CNN
The smartphone and telecom equipment maker announced Wednesday that it has halted its main operations after the US government last month banned American companies from selling it vital components.

For Better or Worse, Africa’s Digital Future is Tied to China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Chinese tech companies are now the most important players in Africa’s rapid emergence as one of the world’s fastest growing digital markets. People’s Republic of China companies, private and state-owned, are working with local telecom operators...

Chinese Missiles Are Transforming the Balance of Power in the Skies

Marc Champion
Bloomberg
For a quarter century, the U.S. and its allies owned the skies, fighting wars secure in the knowledge that no opponent could compete in the air. As tensions with Russia and China surge, that’s no longer the case.

China Plans $47 Billion Fund to Boost Its Semiconductor Industry

Yoko Kubota
Wall Street Journal
In a move that could further heighten tensions with the U.S., China is poised to announce a new fund of about 300 billion yuan—$47.4 billion—to spur development of its semiconductor industry as it seeks to close the technology gap with the U.S. and...

Apple CEO Tim Cook Takes a Victory Lap as China Revenue Rockets on Strength of iPhone X

Anita Balakrishnan and Sara Salinas
CNBC
Apple posted some of its strongest growth during the March quarter in one of its toughest geographic regions.

White House Considers Restricting Chinese Researchers over Espionage Fears

Ana Swanson and Keith Bradsher
New York Times
U.S. may bar Chinese from sensitive research at universities and research institutes.

The AI Arms Race: China and US Compete to Dominate Big Data

Louise Lucas and Richard Waters
Financial Times
Algorithms trained on mountains of Chinese data may soon be making decisions that deeply affect the lives of people in the US.

What Happened to China’s Only Bitcoin ATM after Its Crackdown on Crypto

Zheping Huang
Quartz
Four years ago, China got its first bitcoin ATM.

U.S. Considers Tightening Grip on China Ties to Corporate America

Koh Gui Qing
Reuters
Any broad effort to sever relationships between Chinese and American tech companies - even temporarily - could have dramatic effects across the industry.

China Lays out Its Ambitions to Colonize the Moon and Build a “Lunar Palace”

Echo Huang
Quartz
China’s dream of residing in a lunar palace will soon become a reality

China Is Tightening Its Grip On Cryptocurrency To Promote Rather Than Purge It

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
China also sees advantages in allowing crypto to develop in a manageable way...

China-Based Online Education Companies Just Launched an Aggressive Hiring Spree in Search of U.S. Teachers

Connie Loizos
TechCrunch
Teachers have long supplemented their incomes by tutoring. And there’s perhaps never been a better, or easier, time to do it than right now. The reason: China-based online education companies are in an apparent race with each other to hire U.S...

A Documentary Reveals the Dangerous Fickleness of Online Fame in China

Christina Larson
Slate
In The People’s Republic of Desire, Hao Wu films the lonely shadows where the lines between online and offline dissolve.

Police in Chinese City Seize 600 Computers Used to Mine Bitcoin

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Police in the north China city of Tianjin confiscated 600 computers used to mine bitcoin cryptocurrency after the local power grid operator reported abnormal electricity usage, Xinhua reported Wednesday.

Former Google China Head Targets AI Opportunities with New $900M Sinovation Fund

Jon Russell
TechCrunch
Sinovation Ventures, one of China’s prominent funds which is helmed by former Google China head Kaifu Lee, has announced a new investment fund that’s targeted at a total raise of $900 million.

Analyst: China’s Huawei To Exit U.S. Market

Jean Baptiste Su
Forbes
By the end of Huawei's annual analyst summit held this week in its hometown of Shenzhen, China, the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker left no doubt that the U.S. market is no longer part...

China’s Children Are Its Secret Weapon in the Global AI Arms Race

Alex Beard
Wired
China wants to be the world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030. To get there, it’s reinventing the way children are taught.