We have been harmonised

Kai Strittmatter


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Old Street Publishing
4 June 2019
ISBN: 9781913083007

From the publisher

Translated by Ruth Martin

In China’s shiny new ‘Smart Cities’, citizens can scarcely cross the road or buy an orange without the Party knowing, and posting a satirical online comment about President Xi’s Winnie-the-Pooh-like features can land you in jail.

A generation after the tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square, 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 journey 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 a warning against Western complacency. Beijing is already finding eager buyers for its ‘Operating System for Dictators’ – in Africa and Asia, Russia and the Middle East. And with China’s corporate giants – all ultimately under Party control – being offered a place at the heart of Europe’s vital infrastructure, it is time we paid attention.

"Remarkable… the most accessible and best informed account we have had to date of China's transition from 'networked authoritarianism' to what is now a form of networked totalitarianism." —Observer

"This chilling book reveals just how far China has already gone in monitoring and controlling its citizens digitally… deeply researched and compellingly argued… [Strittmatter] breaks new ground by forcing readers to confront the effect that technological change has had on the power of the state… a lucid guide to the system and a warning call."
—Sunday Times

"The unholy alliance of Artificial Intelligence with an unscrupulous human intelligence… this is the dark subject on which Strittmatter shines a much-needed light. His book should be read by everyone, not just those interested in China."
—Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"Very highly recommended, not only for China specialists."