So if this little project is on the up and up, it begs the question “Why did they have to go to China to do it?”
Easier to get human test subjects maybe?
These people are SICK!
It makes sense that the cutting edge of human information gathering would team with the leading edge of totalitarian human management.
The first avenue they are probably going to concentrate on will be if an immersive reality can be created that a large population group will remain in incessantly. You dont have to kill off a bunch of people if you can warehouse them jacked into VR.
The second area of research could be into being able to go transhuman and upload. Interestingly a couple of the X-Files reboot covered this (recall, TPTB are alleged to always signal intents). This angle doesnt necessarily have to work, it just needs to be successfully sold as such to get people to get processed in. You could have enough information on individuals from vacuuming their information to make passable facsimiles to fool others in just to get rid of people. If this ever actually succeeds I believe it will be a literal confinement to hell.