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 …

How the Internet is shaping PRC development: Three schools of thought in China

Written by Daniel Lynch. Over the past few years I have followed Chinese writings on the impact of the Internet on PRC society.  I’m not so much interested in discovering a definitive answer, but I am trying to understand the range of debate on this critical but impossibly complex question. Understanding the range of debate …

The Chinese Government Hops on the WeChat Bandwagon

Written by Zixue Tai and Xiaolong Liu. Like everywhere else, social media is an increasingly pervasive presence in Chinese society. Leading the market are the three behemoths QQ, Weibo and WeChat. QQ, the PC-based instant messaging service lately crossing over to the smart-phone market, is the oldest (debuted in 1999 by Tencent) and boasts over 800 …

The enduring themes of Chinese propaganda

Written by Matthew Johnson. Two of the most enduring and seemingly paradoxical features of China’s propaganda state are its staying power and steady decline. In English, the word ‘propaganda’ is often deployed as an epithet for media that appears crassly manipulative or one sided. Public relations firms, advertisers, newspapers, and governments may be accused of spreading …

Does Authoritarian Government Respond to the Chinese People?

Written by Ma Liang. Authoritarian regimes are usually characterized as being less responsive to its citizens in comparison to democratic governments. The use of Internet and other cutting-edge information and communication technologies (ICTs) have substantially transformed the process of government operation. An interesting question to be answered is whether and how authoritarian governments equipped with ICTs respond to …

Chat and Mouse: The Online Game of Indirect Deliberation

Written by Nele Noesselt. Following the so-called Twitter and Facebook ‘revolutions’ of the Arab Spring, digital communication technologies and social media have, once again, been hyped up as facilitating the emergence and empowerment of civil society. This new critical mass of netizens was expected – exclusively based on the power of the virtual online word – …

Beyond censorship—The new ecology of the Chinese internet

Written by Jun Fu. The International Communication Association recently gave its Outstanding Article Award of 2015 to an article addressing the question “Does the Great Firewall Really Isolate the Chinese?”1 As noted by Prof. James G. Webster in his nomination letter, the question is “of broad interest to academics, policy-makers and many members of the general …

Media, Celebrity and Philanthropy in China: Doing Good or Doing Nothing?

Written by Jonathan Hassid and Elaine Jeffreys. Academic discussion of celebrity-led philanthropy has blossomed in recent years. Supporters argue that celebrity involvement with charities raises public awareness and support and resources through media publicity (Bishop and Green 2008). Critics argue that it bolsters corporate capitalism and vested elite interests by disguising the exploitative nature of …

Taiwan’s Digital Democracy

Written by Ben Goren. The introduction of internet capable portable devices such as laptops and early smart phones in Taiwan in the early 2000s; the explosive growth of participation rates and digital information and communication platforms in the mid 2000s; and the expansion of 3G, 4G and Wifi networks post 2010, have transformed the way …