In High Wire, Angela Zhang explores how China regulates its tech sector. By analyzing the incentives and interactions among the key players, Ms. Zhang introduces a dynamic pyramid model to analyze the structure, process, and outcome of China’s unique regulatory system. She showcases the self-regulatory tactics employed by Chinese tech titans to survive and thrive in an institutional environment plagued by fraud and corruption. The 2020-2022 tech crackdown led to the private sector’s retreat and the state’s advancement in the tech industry. These regulatory shifts have also steered investors from consumer tech businesses toward hardcore technologies that are essential for China’s bid to match, and perhaps overtake, the United States in innovation.

In an interview conducted on May 24, 2024, Angela Zhang, in conversation with Winston Ma, focuses on the recent past, present, and future of China’s tech governance, especially in the realm of generative artificial intelligence.

About the speakers