Digital technologies are rapidly transforming our social, economic and political lives. This is especially true in the case of China, where city governments have begun to experiment with digital technologies to harness the power of big data analytics for governing society. From using biometric checkpoints to track Muslim minorities, to using AI for intelligent traffic management, big data driven applications are mushrooming quickly in Chinese cities. What are China’s digital and big data ambitions and actual local realities? Are these digital experiments more ‘buzz and hype’ or real game changing? Do these technologies alter digital governance practices in authoritarian China and if so, how? Top-down or bottom-up mobilized state-led digitalization? Are digital technologies tools for convenience or control? And how does it alter state-society relations in China? Drawing from interviews, surveys, and a database of local digital initiatives across China, this talk will shed light on the intended and unintended consequences of incorporating digital technologies into local governance processes in Chinese cities.
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Co-organized by the Center for Tracking and Society (CTS), University of Copenhagen, Department of Politics and Society, Aalborg University, and Technologies in Practice group, IT University of Copenhagen, and ThinkChina
4A.0.69, University of Copenhagen South Campus