The Economist, July 29th – Aug 4th, 2017

Didi Chuxing, SoftBank grab stake in Uber competitor

SoftBank and Didi Chuxing provided the bulk of a recent $2.5 billion investment in Grab Taxi, a ride-hailing firm headquartered in Singapore and operating in seven countries.

AI in China

A cyber-security law that came into force in June requires foreign firms to store data they collect on Chinese customers within the country’s borders; outsiders cannot use Chinese data to offer services to third parties…

AI is a technology with the potential to change the lives of billions. If China ends up having the most influence over its future, then the state, not citizens, may be the biggest beneficiary.

China and Russia

Russia needs China far more than China needs Russia. And Russia feels uncomfortable about such an unbalanced relationship…

Since 1991, Russia has provided nearly 80% of all China’s arms imports (worth about $32 billion over the period).

The Kremlin used to worry about China’s efforts to reverse-engineer them. But Alexander Gabuev of the Carnegie Moscow Centre says that Russia now recognizes that China’s technological advance is unstoppable. Russia might as well make money from selling arms to China while China still has an interest in buying them from abroad rather than making them itself.

In terms of finance:

With Russia’s access to international capital markets now severed as a result of sanctions, China has become Russia’s main source of funds.

A senior Russian banker in China says, “Our government wants Chinese money without the Chinese.”

Meanwhile:

China has become the leading trading partner for all the former Soviet republics (apart from Uzbekistan), as well as the region’s largest investor.

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