ARC Seminar: Qingxiu Bu

Thursday, October 27, 2022

4:00 pm — 5:30 pm

Hybrid (see description for details)

Open to the Public

Digital State Capitalism in the Context of Belt Road Initiatives

Admission Price



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Qingxiu Bu

The increasing digitalisation of international trade deepens globalisation, and data flows play a key role in this transformation. With its rise as an information superpower, China is reshaping global data governance by exporting digital products and building digital infrastructures. Behind this expansion is the increasing growth of China’s global e-commerce services in African smart cities. China exports not only its technology but also its authoritarian values and governance mechanisms to host states. It is building up China’s soft power in data governance in furtherance of digital state capitalism (DSC) consistent with a Beijing Model. A digital silk road (DSR) has come into shape to consolidate China’s advocated cyber sovereignty. In the game of major powers, the DSR interoperates with its Belt and Road Initiative, and materialises China’s multi-dimensional strategies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hypothetically, it remains untenable to emulate China’s DSC model, purely replicating the DSR-driven development strategies, without adequate legal safeguards sustaining a digital transformation. The existing framework lags behind and does not suffice to address this new challenge. The use of surveillance technologies by an authoritarian government with an immature data-privacy regime underscores the need for a push towards formulating global data governance principles that protect privacy and civil liberties. It is critical to develop new legal instruments to counter the dramatic growth of China’s DSR strategies. From a game theoretical perspective, inevitable conflicts arise when the Chinese and Western powers compete to rewrite global data governance rules. ​

Qingxiu has published widely in a variety of areas of law, many of which are themed around law and global challenges, with a particular focus on the development of legal infrastructures in transnational law and global governance.   He has previously been a lecturer in law at Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University (2007-08) and School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast (2008-13), during which he taught Transnational Business Law at Centre of Transnational Legal Studies (CTLS), Georgetown University as Adjunct Professor. Qingxiu was appointed as Li Kashing Professor of Practice at Faculty of Law, McGill University in 2019. He has held visiting posts at various institutions, including Lund University, Sweden, University College Dublin, Ireland, Tel Aviv University, Israel and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Germany. He worked also as Docent at the Institute of Global Law and Policy (IGLP), Harvard Law School in January 2013 and 2014. Qingxiu has completed four projects funded respectively by the British Academy, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Newton Fund, and British Council (PMI) during the past years. Qingxiu serves as a senator member at University of Sussex.

This is a hybrid event. Participants may choose to attend in person at the Graduate Center, room 5318, or online via Zoom. Please register here to receive Zoom connection details.