Xi’s Internet: China’s new normal online reality

Written by David Kurt Herold. During the decade long reign of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao over the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese Internet flourished and Chinese netizens began to have a measurable effect on both internal and external politics. Foreign researchers repeatedly argued that the Internet was functioning as a precursor to the …

The ‘Voluntary Fifty-Cent Army’ in Chinese Cyberspace

Written by Rongbin Han. On October 15, 2014, President Xi Jinping met and lauded Zhou Xiaoping and Hua Qianfang at the high-profile “Forum on Literature and Art” in Beijing, and encouraged them to produce more works with “positive energy” (zheng

A Decade of Blogging in China

Written by Giorgio Strafella and Daria Berg. The effects of blogging and Internet use on Chinese politics and society have been a hotly debated topic in contemporary Chinese studies. Blogging first became popular in China in 2003 when the notorious online intimate diary of a young woman called Muzi Mei (b. 1978) created a scandal …

Innovation Policy in China: Building a Thucydides’s Tech Trap?

Written by Regina Abrami. In 2012, Graham T. Allison, Director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, warned in a Financial Times opinion piece of potential conflict between the United States and China. A year later, by way of a New York Times article, Allison again issued a clarion call against …

China’s Responsiveness to Internet Opinion: A Double-Edged Sword

Written by Jonathan Hassid. China’s obvious press censorship can mask the surprising reality that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) responds quickly to public opinion, especially when it is expressed online. The system strongly discourages political discussion and criticism but is highly responsive to incidents that evade the gauntlet of censorship and capture public attention. Commentators, reporters …

Taking stock of the Chinese blogosphere

Written by Shaohua Guo. “China is not yet a country that excels in the art of writing (shuxie, to express feelings and write), but the emergence of blogs …” In October 2002, Isaac Xianghui Mao wrote this on the homepage of CNBlog.org, China’s first online discussion forum about blogging technology and culture. Given that he has …

China’s Media in Cross Currents: Implications for Critical Journalism

Written by Rongbin Han. To a large extent, the development of Chinese media, particularly critical media, depends on the interaction between market forces, state control, and the rise of social media. Though they have benefited from marketization, softer ideological constraints, and the rise of digital media platforms, Chinese media have to deal with the repercussions …

The significance of sharing: Video in China

Written by Gianluigi Negro. In a famous Ted talk Chris Anderson stated that web video would drive a worldwide phenomenon he called Crowd Accelerated Innovation – a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. Although Anderson’s prediction sounds deterministic, the significance of video sharing and creativity has found a …

The Symbolic Power of Chinese “Internet Buzzwords”

Written by Elaine Yuan. Like other social spaces in contemporary China, the Chinese Internet, with more than 600 million users, is always energetic and eventful. One of the few ways to keep pace with the bustling online scenes is by tracking “Internet buzzwords”– words or phrases that emerge from significant social events and incidents by …

Xi Jinping’s Internet anti-corruption campaign

Written by Ping Shum and Zheng Yongnian. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays an increasing role in fighting corruption worldwide. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has extended e-government in the fight against crime and against corruption in particular.  By promoting Internet anti-corruption efforts and encouraging the general public to participate, the Chinese party-state under Xi …