China Innovation Policy Series


News & Opinion

Report No. 2 Launch: Assessing Innovation in China’s Digital Economy

Event Information 

Monday, January 8, 2018
10:00 am - 12:00 PM

CSIS | 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW, DC  | 2nd Floor Conference Center

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This is the second of seven reports of CSIS's China Innovation Policy Series (CIPS), a joint project of the Freeman Chair in China Studies and the Technology Policy Program to analyze the relationship between Chinese policy and commercial performance in advanced technologies. This report discusses the dynamics shaping the future of China’s digital economy, and implications for global trade and policy. 

The Chinese leadership has made clear that the digital economy and information and communication technologies (ICT) underpins the country’s economic development. Slogans like “without informatization there is no modernization” capture the high-level attention—particularly following the 19th Party Congress—on developing internet technologies for mobile, AI, cloud, big data, and internet of things (IoT) as new engines of growth. State and private capital is pouring into Chinese companies and China’s large internet companies are growing more influential in and outside of China. Meanwhile, China’s start-up scene is thriving as entrepreneurs create new technologies and business applications that make the digital economy an integral part of daily life.    

Speakers will discuss the innovation ecosystem for leading Chinese internet companies—large and small. How are Chinese companies thinking about the next breakthrough and what are their prospects for global expansion? What is the role of venture capital? What is Beijng’s vision for China to “build a national power in cyberspace”? How will the country’s cybersecurity law impact the development of the digital economy and innovation? What is the role of Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and (BATJ) in building out China’s digital economy and what is their relationship with emerging companies? Does the term “internet company” accurately describe BATJ given their expansion into many more types of sectors?



Samm Sacks
Senior Fellow, Technology Policy Program

Expert Panel

Ding Xianfeng
Chief Scientist, Internet of Things, Alibaba Inc.

Kaiser Kuo
Host and Co-Founder, The Sinica Podcast; Former Director of International Communications, Baidu Inc.

David London
Senior Director & Head of North America Government Affairs, Ofo

Paul Triolo
Practice Head, Geotechnology, Eurasia group

Hans Tung
Managing Partner, GGV Capital

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Mingda QiuCSIS