Heya. Brady here.
By now, you have seen many reports about China’s tech crackdown, each unpacking the transgressions of conglomerates that have grown so big, so quickly, often with few checks and balances.
Some move people across cities by making rides more easily available. Others provide financial services. Others yet sell every kind of thing imaginable. Each one has a function that a sufficient number of consumers utilize every day, but regulators have doubts about data security, data privacy, and the control that these tech companies exert over the daily activities of the broader population.
Taking an even broader view, tech-based services that focus on consumption are far from innovative—if new artificial intelligence algorithms are built to show you the next blouse you should buy instead of, say, folding proteins, what life-changing transformations are never developed because of the way talent is directed?
The Chinese government is seeking to remedy this problem by endorsing “little giants,” which are smaller tech firms that operate in deep tech—semiconductor manufacturing, robotics, blockchain, biomedicine, and the like. But that backing is more a signal than a directive. After all, the skilled professionals needed to fill the ranks of little giants still need to be cultivated.
Mengyuan unpacked the situation. You can read her article here.
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