China’s Road to ‘Cyber Superpower’ Status

A man looks at his smartphone near video display screens showing Chinese President Xi Jinping, in Beijing, Aug. 22, 2018 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).
A man looks at his smartphone near video display screens showing Chinese President Xi Jinping, in Beijing, Aug. 22, 2018 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).
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In late November, Daniel Zhang, the chairman and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, gave a speech at the Chinese government-sponsored World Internet Conference. The event was taking place in Wuzhen, a historic town in eastern Zhejiang province, but Zhang’s intended audience was hundreds of miles away, in Beijing. Just weeks earlier, Chinese regulators had nixed the blockbuster initial public offering of Ant Group, Alibaba’s financial arm, reportedly at the behest of China’s leader, Xi Jinping. Xi and other top officials took umbrage at earlier comments by Jack Ma, Alibaba’s co-founder, who had publicly criticized regulators for stifling innovation. Seeking […]

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