China has recently unveiled an “Internet Plus” policy as part of its new five-year plan. Beijing has stated that this policy will help bolster China’s slowing economy and make the country a cyber power.
China plans to increase its R&D spending from 2.1% in 2011-2015 to 2.5% in 2016-2020 as it aims to become a world leader in developing the next generation of chip materials, robotics, and aviation equipment. The new policy will also contribute to China’s integration of its tech sector with more traditional parts of its economy, which Beijing hopes will increase efficiency across the board.
This new policy isn’t only an ambitious technological development plan, however. As technology becomes ever more influential in Chinese business and society, controlling potential dissent against the Communist Party on the Internet has been one of China’s big concerns. This has been expressed in “Internet Plus” with the statement that “[China will] strengthen the struggle against enemies in online sovereign space and increase control of online public sentiment” and “perfect cybersecurity laws and legislation.”
Overall, while this new group of laws and regulations may bolster its domestic tech industry, China and its increasingly strict censorship prompted both foreign businesses and governments to express concern. What do you think?