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Author:Zorikto Gomboin (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Radio Research and Development Institute)
Paper short abstract:
The paper is dedicated to the study of Chinese official development assistance flows in the ICT sector and its characteristics. We will compare Chinese aid portfolio with the other major donors, look at its tying and conditionality status, to answer to the question what is China as an ICT donor.
Paper long abstract:
The paper is dedicated to the study of Chinese official development assistance in the ICT sector. The main source of the study is the database of Chinese official finance collected by the William and Mary AidData laboratory, providing information on Chinese ICT sector projects conducted in 2000-2014. This information is further benchmarked with the data from the OECD official development finance project level database (CRS). Our findings show that China has become the world leader of ICT aid, providing the major bulk of the preferential loans and grants to the developing countries, with the Republic of Korea, Japan and the United States trailing far behind. In terms of format, we can see that China is more likely to provide preferential loans over grants, reflecting its development cooperation focus, as well as use aid ‘tied’ to Chinese ICT vendors. On the other side, China is also far less likely to impose additional conditions on its aid, whether its blank liberalization of the sector, or targeted concessions. Chinese portfolio of projects is often fine targeted at one country or one region. As the data available only by the year of 2014, it is assumed that these trends are still true today, and even more pronounced on the background of the geopolitical standoff between the United States and China, and with heavy sanctions on Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE.
China's digital expansion in the Global South I