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Accepted Paper:

Understanding China's discursive evolution in big tech dynamics and global asymmetries: the case of AI leadership and the global south market  
Zhan Zhang (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)

Short abstract:

This paper investigates the evolving discourse surrounding Chinese big-tech firms and their role in global AI competition, alongside China's view of the Global South as a primary market for its global AI leadership ambitions.

Long abstract:

The past decade has been pivotal for the digital technology revolution in the global context, with significant shifts in technological advancements, geopolitical dynamics, and international policy debates shaping the discourse. Different from the Multistakeholder Governance approach that empowers stakeholders from the North—big tech companies in particular—to extend their hegemonic control over the critical resources within the global cyberspace, the Chinese discourse has been supporting ‘digital sovereignty’ along the time, shedding lights on the imbalanced development of internet infrastructure and technology advancement in developing countries, claiming the importance of internet governance from a multilateral approach.

However, the exponential rise of China’s digital economy and the business expansion of Chinese technology firms globally have tested the limits of its sovereignty-centric approach, challenging Beijing’s aspiration of its Digital Silk Road initiative. Chinese tech giants are emerging as significant stakeholders, directly or indirectly involved in global governance concerning big data and AI. Nevertheless, heightened regulatory oversight from Beijing has led to extensive restrictions affecting international activities of these companies, include in the Global South.

This paper thus investigates the evolving discourse surrounding Chinese big-tech firms and their role in global AI competition, alongside China's view of the Global South as a primary market for its global AI leadership ambitions. It examines the narrowing influence of Chinese tech giants amid the country's complex AI regulatory framework, and discusses Beijing's approach to fostering strategic inclusiveness among international stakeholders (from the Global South), through its recent proposal to establish "a community with a shared future in cyberspace."

Traditional Open Panel P224
Big data and artificial intelligence global asymmetries: infrastructures, skills, uses, value and side effects
  Session 1 Friday 19 July, 2024, -