FPI / September 8, 2021
In 2013, Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping said that “whoever controls data has the upper hand.”
Xi’s regime is reinforcing its control over the economy and the lives of China’s citizens, not to mention multinational corporations, by controlling huge volumes of data.
The communist regime is building what some analysts call a “techno-authoritarian superpower” in which people are monitored and directed to an unprecedented degree through the agency of government-controlled cyber networks, surveillance systems and algorithms, the Financial Times noted in a Sept. 7 analysis.
“With better control over data, we cannot only build a more productive economy, but also a more efficient government that makes decisions based on hard science rather than intuition,” said He Aoxuan, a researcher at Beihang University, a leading technological university in Beijing.
“The embrace of digital sovereignty plays a key role in protecting our national interest against enemy forces at home and abroad.”
The official classification of data in 2020 as a “fifth factor of production”, alongside labor, land, capital and technology, further revealed its importance to the communist regime.
“Personal data is collected not only through online interactions but also through a whole panoply of technologies designed to order a society of 1.4 billion people,” the Financial Times noted.
Digital social security cards, digital money, smart cities, surveillance cameras, social credit systems and other technologies are being rolled out across the country, creating a grand experiment for 21st century authoritarian governance.
Free Press International