It is undeniable that a technological and commercial war is currently being waged between the two world powers. After the disintegration of the USSR, the United States and China disputed global hegemony.
However, since this confrontation does not take place in the middle of the 20th century like the cold war, it is not a conflict of nuclear warheads and missiles, but in the third decade of the 21st century, it is a battle that is fought with software and technological tools such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Background: the awakening of the Asian giant
The Asian giant is known for its remarkable ability to grow from imitation. China adopted the model of the maquilas in northern Mexico and, in the 1990s, became the world’s factory.
Following the creation of the World Wide Web (WWW) at CERN by Tim Berners Lee, that same decade saw the US-based technology revolution with the rise of start-ups (startups) that would later become global monopolies such as Amazon, Google and Netflix, among others.
However, despite the fact that the North American giant started first and, therefore, took the lead, in the three decades that have elapsed since then China has positioned itself as its closest competitor and the only one that could eventually wrest supremacy from it. worldwide and is even about to overcome it.
In the last 30 years —ranging from the mandates of Jian Zemin until Xi Jinping—China went from being a simple industrial export factory to one of the largest technological innovation, production and export poles on the planet. In the process, the Asian giant lifted 800 million of its inhabitants out of povertydigitized almost all human activities and virtually eliminated the use of cash entirely.
Following the pioneering American technology companies, the Asian giant created its own applications: Baidu instead of Google and wechat instead of Facebook and WhatsAppthough unlike Meta-owned apps, this is a super app unparalleled in the West. Therefore, today it has its own vernacular ‘big tech’ which, due to the colossal magnitude of its population, are among those with the largest number of users: although most are circumscribed to its borders, with the exception of Alibaba —the largest e-commerce platform in the world—, TikTok —the fastest growing app since the pandemic— and the popular video game giant Tencent.
This, of course, was not a fortuitous event, but a plan conceived, executed and financed by the central government, which has been called technonationalismsince everything is under the control of the State in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Strategy of expansion and geopolitical conquest
At present, for China, technology —and within it, in particular Artificial Intelligence (AI)— is the spearhead of its expansion strategy to become the global superpower in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Asian country today is a leader in the design of the latest technological standards, it dominates the deployment of 5G infrastructure in the world and, together with Taiwan, the manufacture of essential components and devices for the technological revolution such as semiconductors, smartphones (smartphones) and personal computers.
All this mission is synthesized in the Made in China 2025 program, prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, through which the Asian giant has proposed to develop industries of high technological complexity based on innovation and the capture of all its population. Through massive investments and financial and fiscal support, as well as the creation of 40 innovation centers, China seeks to control 70 percent of the critical technology segments in the global industrial value chain by 2025, in addition to standing out in sectors of state-of-the-art such as automated machines and tools, robots, aeronautical equipment and electric vehicles.