Andrew Keen in Literary Hub:
Did you know there are over 700 million government-owned surveillance cameras in China? I didn’t, until Liza Lin, The Wall Street Journal’s China correspondent, came on Keen On this week to talk about her new book Surveillance State. My intuitively Orwellian conclusion from this chilling statistic is that the Xi Jinping regime is creating a digital version of Ninety Eighty-Four, with government operated networked cameras on every street corner and in every bedroom, office, classroom and store.
But Lin had another, weirdly counterintuitive explanation. The two largest manufacturers of surveillance cameras in the world are Chinese, she explained. And so China’s surveillance state, with its hundreds of millions of government-purchased cameras, is designed to benefit Chinese industry.
No wonder, then, that the Chinese state is now packaging this technology to the rest of the world. That may be all of our futures. State surveillance capitalism. Infinitely scalable. A win-win for both innovative entrepreneurs and dictators.