Quebec and Canada at large face difficult challenges to adapt and compete in the upcoming data driven economy. Many analysts already consider the game to be decided in favor of the largest consumer data driven companies from China and the US: Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba... on one side; Amazon, Google, Facebook... on the other. They have the means, the reach and data access to strive in this new economy. You simply need to consider their R&D yearly budget (2017: Amazon 22.6 B$; Facebook 7.8 B$) to understand the challenges facing any competitors. Compounding this are the questions arising from the differences in employment costs, data gathering methods, confidentiality enforcement and data usage that would tend to tip the data science scale in favor of the Chinese groups. In this short paper we consider a potential digital development alternative especially interesting for small or developing economies with the specific case of Quebec in mind.
Published February 2020 , 5 pages