Category Archives: Research

Inside China’s Plan on Artificial Intelligence

On July 8, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China issued the Development Plan on a New Generation of Artificial Intelligence. This is a lengthy document, divided in six sections and several paragraphs. A translation produced by the fantastically efficient interns of the Foundation for Law and International Affairs is 27 pages in length. I have taken the time to go through the document in its Chinese and its English versions, to learn more about its contents, and to summarize it for my readers. 

This is an extremely important document, outlining the blueprint for the development of China’s AI in the next thirteen years. As it is already clear to those in the know, the Plan has significant implications for the development of social credit, as well as the fields and the policies related to it.

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A Timeline of China’s Social Credit System

In what senses can social credit be understood? As explained here, social credit can be understood in two different senses. 

It is a “new mode of governance that recombines law and governance, and the public and private spheres in new and hybrid ways that will likely transform the structures and principles on which legal, governance, and societal regulatory systems are now understood and through which they acquire their legitimacy”.

But, it is also a “specific project of the Chinese state to create a comprehensive legal and regulatory mechanism.” 

The timeline below presents a short history of the project launched by the Chinese state to integrate diverse regulatory systems under the aegis of state-driven regulation.