India should aim for a digital non-alignment


Author: Parminder Jeet Singh

The article was first published in The Hindustan Times on July 2, 2020. The views are of the individual author.


The United States’ blacklisting of the Chinese company Huawei — since reversed — represents an important milestone as the world splits digitally around its two digital superpowers, the US and China. Last year, the US disallowed Alibaba’s takeover of Moneygram and later embargoed US supplies to the mobile company ZTE. Amazon and Google recently affirmed their loyalty to the US military. China’s corporations in any case closely follow the State’s directions.

The digital world’s centre is mostly taken to be the US. But according to a leaked US government document, if China dominates telecommunication globally — and Hauwei indeed tops in 5G technology, it “will win politically, economically, and militarily”. China is also closing in on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) gap, as reports emerge that not only China produces more AI research, its quality is also set to soon surpass that of the US’s.

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