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China's digital plan will help it leapfrog US as tech leader

'New infrastructure initiative' encourages spending on 5G and artificial intelligence

| China
A model of a 5G smart city technology at the China Mobile booth during the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona: the government needs to go beyond laissez-faire.   © Getty Images

Nina Xiang is the founder of China Money Network, a media platform tracking China's venture and tech sectors.

"If you want to get rich, first build a road." China's gleaming modern infrastructure is a testament to this cheeky proverb. Realizing that China now has less need to build roads and bridges, Beijing is betting instead on building the most advanced data factory running on the biggest and fastest information highway. The goal is clear: remake China into an innovation-driven technology powerhouse and surpass the U.S.

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