Big Data meets Big Brother

Over the past few weeks Fortune colleagues and I have written at length about China’s rise as an “innovation superpower,” particularly in sectors involving the Internet, e-commerce and mobile payment. We’ve marveled at the scale of China’s two largest tech giants, Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, and extolled the creativity and convenience of the multitude of the services they offer.

Some of you have written to remind us of Beijing’s strict censorship of the Internet. Even so, my view remains that China has emerged as the biggest, liveliest and most sophisticated digital marketplace in the world. But I’ve also expressed unease in this space about the fact that in China’s tech sector, even more than in America’s, an enormous amount of market power is concentrated in the hands of a few giant firms, with few safeguards for individual privacy.

Author: Clay Chandler


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