Life In China’s Surveillance State
In China’s shiny new ‘Smart Cities’, citizens can scarcely cross the road or buy an orange without the government knowing about it, and tweeting satirically about the Glorious Leader’s dumpling-like features can land you in jail.
It’s often assumed that capitalism and the internet automatically bring freedom and democracy. But Strittmatter shows how China’s autocratic leaders are using powerful new technologies to create the largest and most effective surveillance state the world has ever seen.
This is a fascinating journey behind the Great Firewall into a land where Big Brother has acquired a whole new set of toys with which to control and cajole — ‘harmonise’ — the masses. It is also an urgent warning against Western complacency. China is already finding eager overseas buyers for its ever-upgrading ‘Operating System for Dictators’ — in Africa and Asia, Russia and the Middle East. It is time the rest of us paid attention.
Kai Strittmatter has studied China for more than 30 years. For over a decade he lived and worked there as a correspondent for the national broadsheet Sueddeutsche Zeitung, taking the decision to leave the country prior to publication of this book. He is the author of China A-Z.