Control of digital data, total ambition for China

Analyses. By reporting the Kremlin’s untruths about Ukraine to Western news networks, Beijing’s authoritarian regime is exposing an obvious aspect of its undertaking to undermine democracies. But in the digital world, the real threat posed by China is far less visible: it lies in the physical infrastructure of the digital world and the virtual platforms connected to it, says Samantha Hoffman, of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. (Aspi), That The world recently met in Paris.

Data storage centers, 5G equipment, cables, connectivity software for everyday objects, sound and image sensors, smart cars or smart cities: developed all over the planet, these infrastructures aim, through the collection of data, to control of people and commerce, as evidenced by the documents of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) analyzed by the researcher. This presented in mid-March a report on China’s digital ambitions produced by the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), an American think tank heir to Democratic Senator Henry M. Jackson, a fierce defender of the liberal model during the Cold War.

“Digital technologies, seen by China as the means to solve all of society’s problems and ensure their development, are used for the expansion of the CCP and are now being exported for this purpose.”underlines M.myself Hoffmann. For example, GTCOM, a subsidiary of the Central Propaganda Department, exports a translation tool built into smart city equipment offerings, Language Box, which is primarily used to gather information. “The company claims to collect 2 to 3 petabytes of data per year globally, directly contributing to state security, in its own words, through relationship mapping, sentiment analysis or speech recognition.”

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After land, labor and capital, “data is the new determinant of production” in human history, researcher Dai Shuangxing theorized in an article by Qiushithe central committee newspaper, in May 2020. “Anyone who controls digitized logistics hubs can control global cobalt shipments without having to deploy troops to seize mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo”illustrates the NBR.

Key elements of the device, Chinese virtual platforms: Alibaba, Tencent, JD. com, DiDi, TikTok – have grown in all directions, in information, business transactions, mobile and industry applications. In 2020, TikTok became the world’s most downloaded app with over 1 billion users in 150 countries. Beijing has pledged to better control its tech giants while developing their convergence in terms of technology and content.

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