The unprecedented amount of data Chinese tech giants like Baidu and Alibaba collect is helping accelerate China’s development of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) applications, including facial recognition, automated retail operations, and its much-discussed social credit system. But it has also raised ethical concerns about data privacy, and about the state’s control over its citizens. Policymakers in Beijing are trying to balance these concerns with a desire to strengthen China’s position in both strategic fields. What is the future of AI and big data in China? Will China’s tech industry surpass Silicon Valley to become a global leader in either or both fields?