Profile Books is to publish The Digital Silk Road: China's Quest to Wire the World and Win the Future by Jonathan E Hillman.
Described as "an urgent look at the battle to connect and control tomorrow’s networks", the work examines China's digital footprint and data infrastructure.
The synopsis explains: "China is wiring the world, and, in doing so, rewriting the global order. Its vast infrastructure projects now extend from the ocean floor to outer space, and from Africa’s megacities into rural America. Unchecked, China will reshape global flows of data to reflect its interests. It will develop an unrivalled understanding of market movements, the deliberations of foreign competitors, and the lives of countless individuals enmeshed in its systems. As things stand, the rest of the world still has a choice. But the battle for tomorrow will require America and its allies to take daring risks in uncertain political terrain. Networks create large winners, and this is one contest that democracies can’t afford to lose. In The Digital Silk Road, Hillman reveals what China’s digital footprint looks like on the ground and explores the dangers of a world in which all routers lead to Beijing."
Hillman has served as a policy adviser to the US Trade Representative, testified before Congress, briefed Fortune 500 executives, and his commentary has been published in the Washington Post, Financial Times and Wall Street Journal.
He said: "I’ve spent the last five years tracking how China’s global infrastructure push is unfolding on the ground, and I've come to believe that the digital domain is where the economic and strategic stakes are highest. Now China’s Digital Silk Road is accelerating in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and as the United States responds, there is no country, company, or community that will remain unaffected in the years ahead. I’m honoured and humbled to publish this global story with Profile, which has a deep bench of big thinkers from whom I've learned so much."
Editorial director Ed Lake bought world rights from Toby Mundy at Aevitas. He said: "The 21st century is a strange place, in which Great Power struggles are fought out through preferential trade terms, psyops and data infrastructure. But no frontier is likely to be as important to the fate of the world as that between the Chinese and American digital networks, and no one understands it better than Jonathan E Hillman. The Digital Silk Road is the map to the invisible conflict that will define our lives for decades to come. It is a vital work for anyone who wants to understand the immediate future."
The book will be published in the UK on 14th October.