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This series features brief discussions with leading China experts on a range of issues in the U.S.-China relationship, including domestic politics, foreign policy, economics, security, culture, the environment, and areas of global concern. For more interviews, videos, and links to events, visit our website:

The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.

Oct 25, 2022

In Trafficking Data, Aynne Kokas examines how technology firms in the two largest economies in the world, the United States and China, exploit government policy (and the lack thereof) to gather information on citizens, putting American national security at risk. She argues that U.S. government leadership failures, Silicon Valley’s disruption preoccupation, and Wall Street’s addiction to growth have fueled China’s technological gold rush. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in the two countries and numerous corporate and policy documents, Trafficking Data explains how China is fast becoming the global leader in internet governance and policy, and thus of the data that defines our public and private lives.

In an interview conducted on October 11, 2022, Aynne Kokas, in conversation with Silvia Lindtner, argues that American complacency provides Chinese firms the opportunity to gather data in the United States and send it back to China, and by extension, to the Chinese government.

0:00 Introductions

2:04 China’s technological advances and geopolitical power

9:08 United States and China as digitized nations

16:38 Population biometric data and Zero-COVID

20:38 Can data science map Chinese society during the COVID-19 pandemic?

About the speakers:

Follow Aynne Kokas on Twitter: @AynneKokas

Follow Silvia Lindtner on Twitter: @yunnia

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