In a decade or so China will, if the Communist Party has its way, become a techno-utopia with Chinese characteristics, replete with “deep tech” such as cloud-computing, AI, self-driving cars and home-made cutting-edge chips.
Incumbent technology giants such as Alibaba in e-commerce or Tencent in payments and entertainment will be around but less overweening—and less lucrative. Policies to curb their market power will redistribute some of their profits to smaller merchants and app developers, and to their workers. Second-tier cities will boast their own tech industries with localised services, competing with the less-mighty titans. Data will pulse through the system, available to firms of all sizes, under the watchful eye of the government in Beijing. China’s internet will strengthen its authoritarian design.
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