Digital China Wins the Future

Illuminating "Digital China" with original Chinese-language sources

Bibliography English

This bibliography includes a selected list English-language commentaries and research papers published outside China (academic, working, think tank, personal) on the “ends, ways, and means” of Digital China. The list is arranged alphabetically. Questions, comments, additions, and corrections are welcome! Please contact me at

There is little writing on Digital China outside China to date. This bibliography represents my small incentive to encourage more. I should also note that there has been voluminous writing outside China on the “ends, ways, and means” of Digital China, but without annotation linking them to the Digital China strategy itself. Those papers will not be included here, both as a time saver for me, and another small incentive for prospective writers to include a Digital China annotation on future papers to facilitate strategic analysis.

Arcesati, Rebecca. "E-government and Covid-19: Digital China goes global," MERICS, May 17, 2022. Tags: DC DGOV FSIP  COOP SMED

In this great paper Rebecca Arcesati at MERICS highlights the appearance of “Digital China” in the 14th Five-Year Plan, and explores Beijing’s national and global implementation of digital transformation. Well worth your time, especially Digital China watchers.

Arcesati, Rebecca. "China’s Digital Transition: Balancing Development, Security, and Sustainability to Lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution," in Carlo Secchi and Alessandro Gili, eds., "Digitalisation for Sustainable Infrastructure: The Road Ahead," ISPI Centre on Infrastructure, October 17, 2022. Tags: CGP DC DSR NTI

More excellent work by Rebecca Arcesati at MERICS, one of the first experts outside China to identify, recognize the importance of, and publish on the Digital China strategy.
Dorman, David. “China’s Plan for Digital Dominance,” War on the Rocks, March 28, 2022. Tags: DC FSIP NTI 

A general introduction to the "ends, ways, and means" of Digital China.

Dorman, David. “How China Will Dominate the Global Competition Over Data,” The National Interest, April 18, 2022. Tags: DC CPI EDWC

A quick look at the Eastern Data, Western Computing project.
Dorman, David and John Hemmings. "China’s Digital Challenge: Hidden in Plain Sight, Bigger Than You Thought, and Much Harder to Solve,” CSIS, May 11, 2022. Tags: DC NTI

An introduction to New Type Infrastructure.

Dorman, David and John Hemmings. "Digital China: The Strategy and Its Geopolitical Implications," Issues and Insights, February 22, 2023. Tags: DC DGTZ IFMZ S1

A historical overview of the origins, implementation and intent of the Digital China strategy.

Dorman, David and John Hemmings. "China Has a Digital Grand Strategy. Does the President Know?," PacNet #18, March 7, 2023. TAGS: DC

Exploring Digital China in terms of recognition, evaluation, and application in U.S. policy.
Haluza, Zac. "Building a Digital China," Root Access, March 7, 2023. Tags: DC GLDC

A useful and well-crafted summary of the March 2023 Central Committee & State Council issued "Plan for the Overall Layout of Building a Digital China" and the wider Digital China program. 
Liu, Lizhi. “The Rise of Data Politics: Digital China and the World,” Studies in Comparative International Development, March 19, 2021. Tags: BSD 

Although it does not touch on the political program of Digital China, Lizhi Liu at Georgetown University gives us a serious and desperately needed academic study on data politics and China. I don’t think there is another like it in English. I hope we will see more.
Pao, Jeff. "China’s grand plan for a world-beating digital future," Asia Times, March 8, 2023. Tags: DC BSD GLDC NDB

An assesssment of the goals driving the "new Digital China vision," newly proposed "National Data Bureau," and newly issued "Overall Layout Plan for the Development of a Digital China."

Pao, Jeff. "Chinese industries to go digital or die; ‘Digital China’ plan emphasizes ‘industrial internet’ in a state-led drive for world-class competitiveness and supply chain supremacy," Asia Times, March 11, 2023. Tags: DC GKDC NDB IINT 

A review of the March 2023 Digital China plan, National Data Bureau, and New Type Infrastructure's Industrial Internet sub-category.
Sacks, Samm. "National Policy: Beijing’s Vision for Internet Technology and the Digital Economy," CSIS, January 1, 2018. Tags: DC DECO 

H/T to Samm Sacks. This may be the first Western paper to correctly identify Digital China as a developmental priority.
Samal, Swayamsiddha and Megha Pardhi. "Integrating computing power for 'Digital China'," Asia Times, July 4, 2022. Tags: DC, CPI, EDWC 

Swayamsiddha Samal and Megha Pardhi at the Takshashila Institution are among the first experts outside China to identify the link between New Type Infrastructure‘s Eastern Data Western Computing project and the Digital China strategy.
Ye, Josh and Julie Zhu. "Factbox: China Moves Towards Digital Economy Dream with National Data Bureau," Reuters, March 7, 2023.  Tags: DC BSD DECO

Quick review of what's known and not known about Xi Jinping's vision for "digital China" and the newly proposed National Data Bureau.

Wu, Lianfeng. IDC China. "Four Impacts of the National Digital Plan on the Acceleration of Digital Businesses in China," March 20, 2023. Tags: DC GLDC

"The [new Digital China] Plan is expected to greatly promote industrial users’ digital transformation and the development of digital businesses and provide huge business opportunities for ICT vendors." "The Plan promotes international cooperation and opening up to achieve win-win results and benefit the global deployment of Chinese ICT vendors."