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.