The Chinese leadership has put artificial intelligence front and center in China’s industrial development. As part of this strategy, they have established:
- Industry alliances—collaboration platforms involving local governments, academic institutions, and companies; and
- Government guidance funds—public-private investment vehicles that mobilize massive amounts of capital in support of strategic and emerging technologies.
CSET’s Ngor Luong and Ben Murphy have published research examining each of these components of China’s AI development strategy. In “China’s Artificial Intelligence Industry Alliance,” Luong examined the Chinese government’s AI industry alliance used to foster AI collaboration and, occasionally, to pick winners in the country’s AI sector. In “Chinese Government Guidance Funds,” Luong and Murphy drew on hundreds of Chinese-language sources to perform an in-depth assessment of whether these guidance funds are delivering on their stated goal of accelerating progress in the development of emerging technologies.
In this event, Luong, Murphy and CSET Director of Strategy Helen Toner discussed these two reports. The panelists discussed the background of these industry alliances and guidance funds, their effectiveness and limitations as industrial policy tools used to support China’s emerging technology strategy, and how these activities should inform U.S. technology policy.
Recording and Discussion
Ngor Luong is a Research Analyst at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), focusing on Chinese state-backed funds for AI and other strategic industries. Prior to joining CSET, she conducted research on 5G, Huawei, and China’s industrial policy at the Center for American Progress and co-authored a Chinese translation work on Xi Jinping’s risk philosophy. Ngor received a B.A. magna cum laude in International Politics and Economics from Middlebury College.
Ben Murphy is Chinese STEM Translation Lead at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). He joined CSET following a 14-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served in a variety of roles including project manager, instructor, translation manager, linguist, analyst, and editor. Ben is a member of the American Translators’ Association. He earned his M.A. in East Asian Studies at Harvard University and his B.A. in History at Reed College. Ben is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has studied at National Taiwan University in Taipei and at Fujian Normal University in mainland China.
Helen Toner is Director of Strategy at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). She previously worked as a Senior Research Analyst at the Open Philanthropy Project, where she advised policymakers and grantmakers on AI policy and strategy. Between working at Open Philanthropy and joining CSET, Helen lived in Beijing, studying the Chinese AI ecosystem as a Research Affiliate of Oxford University’s Center for the Governance of AI. Helen has written for Foreign Affairs and other outlets on the national security implications of AI and machine learning for China and the United States, as well as testifying before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Helen holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering and a Diploma in Languages from the University of Melbourne.