Transnational State-Corporate Symbiosis of Public Security: China’s Exports of Surveillance Technologies
Over the last two decades, the emerging Chinese Party-state has used commercial ties with North American and European providers of surveillance technologies to grow national prowess of public security, fostering a transnational state-corporate symbiosis. The exports of surveillance technologies from the Global North to China started in the late 1970s, and now Chinese technology companies are competing with and replacing those suppliers in the globalized neoliberal market. This research explores the two-way dynamic of China’s state and private surveillance capacity underscored by international companies’ profit-seeking behaviors and domestic technological and economic growth. Four case studies of companies from Canada, China, and the US are used to highlight the changing dynamics in the global circulation of surveillance technologies. Particular attention is paid to the cyclical nature of such technologies through which unresolved issues of global governance continue to emerge and, accordingly, support the growth of technology-powered authoritarianism worldwide.
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