Policy Report

China's AI Exports: Technology Distribution and Data Safety

Date Published

Dec 11, 2023

Authors

Jennifer Bouey, Lynn Hu, Keller Scholl, William Marcellino, Rafiq Dossani, Ammar A. Malik, Kyra Solomon, Sheng Zhang, Andy Shufer

Publisher

RAND Corporation

Citation

Bouey, J., Hu, L., Scholl, K., Marcellino, W., Yi, S., Dossani, R., Malik, A., Solomon, K., Zhang, S., and Shufer, A. 2023. China’s AI Exports: Technology Distribution and Data Safety. Washington, DC: RAND Corporation. www.rand.org/t/RRA2696-2 

Announcement

Join AidData and RAND for an event on Dec 12th, 2023 at 10:30am EST on China's AI Exports: Implications for Asia and Africa. This public webinar will convene a multidisciplinary group of experts to surface insights from a groundbreaking new dataset and report on China’s AI export projects with official development financing. Register here.

In recent years, China’s aspiration for global technology leadership has driven its significant investments in artificial intelligence (AI) for national security, economic growth, and societal well-being. Although there is increasing research and analysis on China’s domestic AI development ecosystems and drivers, the details of China’s development-financed AI exports remain elusive. Despite being the single-largest provider of foreign development assistance, Beijing does not participate in aid or debt transparency initiatives.

To address this gap, researchers from the RAND Corporation and AidData jointly built a new database on China’s AI export projects that are funded with official development financing: China’s AI Exports Database (CAIED). CAIED uses data from multiple public databases and indexes related to China’s global financing and recipient countries’ electoral democracy, freedom, and data protection and privacy status. In this report, the authors analyze this quantitative dataset—adding qualitative country case studies based on interviews and social media analysis—to examine the distribution, technology, financing, and data safety aspects of China’s AI exports.

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Ammar A. Malik
China Development Finance

Ammar A. Malik

Senior Research Scientist

Kyra Solomon
China Development Finance

Kyra Solomon

Program Manager

Sheng Zhang
China Development Finance

Sheng Zhang

Research Analyst

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