China's AI Exports Database (CAIED)

With average annual commitments reaching $85 billion in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) era, China has been one of the world's largest providers of development financing. Funded entirely or partially by China's official sector institutions, Chinese technology companies deploy state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in many BRI recipient countries. The AI exports facilitated by these arrangements are expected to bolster China's growing global AI technology-supported supply chains and trade flows. These AI tools, as they become embedded in different countries' public and private systems could help China to influence global technology standards and regulations.

The China AI Exports Database (CAIED) tracks Chinese government-supported development finance projects that utilized or enabled AI technology in the Global South between 2000 and 2017. It was built on AidData's Global Chinese Development Finance (CGDF) Dataset Version 2.0. Using the latest data mining tools, we identified 155 projects qualified as either an AI Application or as AI Infrastructure (i.e. critical infrastructure for AI applications, or a tool that enables AI applications to be adapted in the future). The CAIED also includes country governance information such as the regime type to demonstrate associations between AI technology use and governance systems. Browse the map for more, or explore country-wise project details by selecting a country of interest below.

Chinese AI Application or AI Infrastructure Projects in

Updating the Database

RAND researchers collaborated with AidData to create this first-of-its-kind interactive tool, showing China's AI influence in the developing world. The publications in this series are the first published studies to use quantitative and qualitative metrics to examine China's AI technology exports. The analysis summarized in this series reflects data available to the research team from AidData's Global Chinese Development Finance (CGDF) Dataset Version 2.0, which covers the years 2000–2017. An updated CGFD 3.0 was made available in November 2023, and the research team is working on analyzing the new dataset, which will extend the time horizon covered through 2021.

Research Partner

AidData research staff joined RAND researchers on this project as colleagues and co-authors.

AidData is an international development research lab housed at William & Mary's Global Research Institute.

Additional Data sources