Is China an ‘Entrepreneurial State’? Artificial Intelligence innovation under government guidance
This July, the Chinese State Council unleashed its plan to become ‘world-leading’ in AI by 2030. Last year, it overtook all 28 EU countries combined in output of AI papers in the top 5% of most-cited papers, according to SCOPUS data.
Is China becoming the epitome of Mazzucato's ‘entrepreneurial state’ - a government capable of patiently funding fundamental research for greater gains in the future? Or is it stuck in the Hall & Soskice model of a centrally planned economy that can only grasp incremental innovations? And what blueprints are the Chinese state following - if any?
Innovation economics has learnt greatly from American, European and Russian history but China's rise is only slowly being documented in the political economy literature. What do we need to update?
Yuan Yang is the Financial Times' Beijing correspondent covering economics and technology, with a particular focus on AI research and applications.