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How China's Smart-City Tech Focuses on Its Own Citizens

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Security technology in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.

While about half of the roughly 1,000 smart cities being built worldwide are in China, there is little evidence they are dramatically improving the lives of the masses.

Credit: Bloomberg

Deloitte and other sources say China is home to about half the approximately 1,000 smart cities currently under development worldwide.

However, evidence is scarce that these pilots are significantly improving citizens' lives.

Deloitte said, "Many developments are fraught with...unclear strategic goals, inadequate technology implementation, and poor execution models."

Most smart-city developments in China appear to be committed to enhancing government monitoring of the population.

This surveillance infrastructure includes a massive network of cameras, facial- and gait-recognition systems, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, mainly furnished by domestic suppliers.

The Xinjiang region embodies this police-state deployment, with monitoring of the primarily Muslim minority partly enabled by required downloading of phone apps, to track residents' online activities and whereabouts.

From Financial Times
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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