FiRe 2017: The Xi Effect: Not Your Mother’s Global Domination

By Ethan Annis

Left to right: Berit Anderson, Evan Anderson, and Richard Marshall

In a session designed to keep you awake after lunch, Berit Anderson, CEO of, moderated a discussion between Evan Anderson, CEO of INVNT/IPand author of “Theft Nation”, and Richard Marshall, CEO of X-SES and past Director of Global Cyber Security Management Department of Homeland Security, regarding the moves that China is making to become a dominant player in the international cyberspace.

The discussion began with a picture of a map showing the power that China has throughout the world. Marshall talked about the efforts that China is making to modify the environment to gain geopolitical power in the air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. Marshall mentioned that the biggest push for China is in cyberspace.

Evan Anderson followed up by pointing out that the benefits of technology can also have the opposite effect. He explained the Chinese “Sesame Credit”, a proposed plan in China to connect all individual internet presence to your credit score and “citizen score”. He warned of what could happen if China were allowed to become a world cyber power.

“As China goes out and spreads their influence they are the scariest thing we’ve ever seen politically,” said Evan Anderson.

Berit Anderson questioned further to see what the effects on the internet could potentially be if China accomplished their goals. Marshall answered by offering his opinion that it might be the same we know now in the US, but it would be very different internationally. We may not be able to share democratic views, and other countries with totalitarian tendencies could become more totalitarian.

To conclude the session Marshal reiterated that China badly wants to be an international cyber power.

“We have to do more than just talk about it, we have to be aware of what they are trying to do, and we have to set up certain protection mechanisms,” he said.