The PRC Modernization Project was to take upwards of six years to complete originally. With one of Earth’s largest corporate conglomerates, the Chinese government reached deep into its mainland with reflective silver technetronic fingers. Nothing could stop it. Even the remnants of Qing were all but lost. Department stores spread deeper inland. Western civilization’s own McDonald’s and Walmart laid waste to The Battle of Muye and Five Dynasties/Ten Kingdoms. The sacred Temple of Wuwei surrendered to an outdoor sprinkler system, private contractors from the coast for renovations, digital wall displays set to a Confucius quote loop, and several SmartSoft P-PATs (private personal access terminals). The idea wasn’t really to “modernize” China’s storied mainland, nor was it to make life easier or faster for the billion-some people carrying water on their backs up the cilffs of Dulan. No, the idea was control. With all of communist China’s people and places wired to one central hub, giant sized automatons beeping and buzzing in a protected vault in China’s Ministry of National Security, control became only natural.
“Give access to your citizens, that way at least you can control content,” pleaded then SmartSoft CEO Vince Lyons back in 2032 in a very private meeting with government officials. Children were given bootleg Cinderella DVDs and recycled copies of God of War in villages. Images from western media embedded into flash drives for PCD consumption sold and sold again. The Chinese government needed to muzzle its people into comfortable submission.
The Earth had become increasingly smaller since SmartSoft’s inception out of a single-car garage in Arkon, Ohio. Third and fourth world countries weren’t even immune. A mother posted a now infamous video of her son slain with a machete in Lubutu, Congo; the killers were all identified, but never caught or charged. A cartel from Guyana’s network manager and accountant was bought off by the International DEA; he relinquished all information and passwords for a fortune and a life in global witness protection. He was shot and killed in his Munich home, the program had been hacked and the contracts were flying off the shelves.
In the form of the PRC Modernization Project, globalized connectivity aimed next at the mountain towns of the far East. The contract made SmartSoft the most powerful corporation on Earth and the 8th richest entity in the world, nations and government bodies included. In addition to the hundreds of billions of dollars for implementation alone, SmartSoft demanded all of China switch over to their service for a predetermined number of years/amount of profit (whichever came first), effectively monopolizing the market of the largest and richest nation on the planet. It was win/win.
Until over 4 years into the project a seasoned SmartSoft employee of 16 years, the number 2 man on the 4th tier Board of Directors (team “Tethys”) refused to come back from a tiny village on the south end of the Tsaidam Basin. “What the hell am I looking at?”, asked Lyons. There floated a blob of infinite blue pulses, hundreds of tiny icons, and millions of IP addresses on a cubicle MDM with big wigs huddled around in office light. The shot was from space. One of SmartSoft’s many multi-purpose satellites picked up the radio-frequency identification tags immediately, but the watcher originally thought nothing of it. A simple glitch on the scope. He continued watching as it grew to metropolitan tag levels. Great Wall of China, RFIDs from the Tsaidam Basin, seen without zoom from 16 thousand miles outward. Polar orbit. The 1st Board of Directors, Lyons’ men, panicked. He immediately ordered the termination of that region’s network, to no avail. The corrupt agent placed a block onto the administrative options. He used a 18 character, mostly numbered, encrypted key which was changed by a hired hand every other hour.
The news quickly broke through the global media machine, the news networks were all but extinct, and pressure mounted on SmartSoft and Lyons to make a decision. With no other available options, SmartSoft was forced to pull the plug on the PRC feed to trinket number 2 man’s damage. Turns out he was logging in mass amounts of villagers to the SmartSoft corporate accounts — under tents, hidden from the eyes in space — via unsecured login names he’d create on an individual basis. A digital sweat shop of sorts. They were paid very poorly to skim money off the top, into an international account. Decimals at a time, everyday over and over again until the feed was sliced. Since his name wasn’t literally attached to any of the transactions, according to PRC laws he could not be charged. Unlike the massive amount of villagers, who almost all faced jail time at a Republic work camp. As for SmartSoft, owner of nearly 14% of the world? The deal threw them into chapter eleven, but global private industry simply could not afford such an entity to collapse, so they split the loan to prop the company back onto its feet. It was win/win.