Netflix's New, Brilliant China Strategy: Stay Out of the Country

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
Netflix is saying zaijian to China, before it even got a foot in the door.

China Warns “Hostile Forces” Trying to Undermine Military Reform

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
After protests erupted in Beijing over lay-offs, China's military warned that "hostile forces" were spreading damaging online rumors

Beijing: Facebook & Google Can Come Back to China as long as They “Respect China’s Laws”

Josh Horwitz and Echo Huang Yinyin
Quartz
Both companies still have business-facing services in China, but consumer-facing services have been blocked for years.

China’s Internet Child-Safety Policies Could Force Changes at Tech Firms

Eva Dou and Li Yuan
Wall Street Journal
Tech companies doing business in China might have to adjust operations to comply with proposed rules

Alibaba Dethrones Baidu in China’s Digital Advertising Market

Uptin Saiidi
CNBC
Mobile ads are witnessing quick growth, but not everyone is in for a win this year.

Is Huawei Doing Enough to Train Local Staff in Africa?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The Chinese telecom giant Huawei recently launched a massive publicity campaign to raise awareness in Africa about what it is doing to train local employees. The company has opened at least five training centers in different countries across the...

Conversation

08.10.16

Is Big Data Increasing Beijing’s Capacity for Control?

Mirjam Meissner, Rogier Creemers & more
China’s authoritarian government is using big data to develop credit scoring systems, and is urging data-sharing between companies and governments, putting ordinary Chinese squarely in the digital spotlight. How should Chinese netizens and global...

Sinica Podcast

08.08.16

Clay Shirky on Tech and the Internet in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The Internet expert and author of “Here Comes Everybody” gives his take on China's successes and challenges in the online world. In an hour-long conversation Shirky delves into the details and big-picture phenomena driving the globe’s largest...

Conversation

06.30.16

Where Is China’s Internet Headed?

David Schlesinger, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
Lu Wei, the often combative Chinese official known as China’s “Internet Czar,” will step down, and is to be replaced by a former deputy of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The personnel change comes after a period of mounting restrictions on China’s...

Loan Sharks in China Offer Student Loans for Nude Photos, Giving New Meaning to ‘Naked Greed’

Pamela Constable
Washington Post
Internet lenders are now usuing naked pictures as collatoral for high-interest loans to female students....

Sinica Podcast

06.27.16

Patrolling China’s Cyberspace

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Adam Segal is the Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies and Director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. His latest book, The Hacked World Order, provides an in-depth exploration of the...

Caixin Media

05.25.16

Search Giant Baidu Shuts Online Literature Forums to Stamp Out Piracy

Internet giant Baidu said May 23, it would gradually take down discussion forums on literature from its popular online bulletin board service to remove content suspected of infringing upon intellectual property rights.China’s biggest search engine...

Media

05.20.16

The Chinese Trolls Who Pump Out 488 Million Fake Social Media Posts

David Wertime
They are the most hated group in Chinese cyberspace. They are, to hear their ideological opponents tell it, “fiercely ignorant,” keen to “insert themselves in everything,” and preen as if they were “spokesmen for the country.” Westerners bemoan...

Apple's Uphill Battle with China Is a Reminder That There's No Such Thing As "Borderless" Tech

Mark Y. Rosenberg
Quartz
Tech companies will have to invest more resources in political risk control.

Live-Streaming Apps Flourish in China

Li Yuan
Wall Street Journal
Welcome to China’s flourishing, new reality-show industry, where regular people use smartphones to live stream whatever suits their whims.

Books

05.05.16

Alibaba

Duncan Clark
In just a decade and half, Jack Ma, a man from modest beginnings who started out as an English teacher, founded and built Alibaba into one of the world’s largest companies, an e-commerce empire on which hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers depend. Alibaba’s $25 billion IPO in 2014 was the largest global IPO ever. A Rockefeller of his age who is courted by CEOs and Presidents around the world, Jack is an icon for China’s booming private sector and the gatekeeper to hundreds of millions of middle class consumers.Duncan Clark first met Jack in 1999 in the small apartment where Jack founded Alibaba. Granted unprecedented access to a wealth of new material, including exclusive interviews, Clark draws on his own experience as an early adviser to Alibaba and two decades in China chronicling the Internet’s impact on the country to create an authoritative, compelling narrative account of Alibaba’s rise.How did Jack overcome his humble origins and early failures to achieve massive success with Alibaba? How did he outsmart rival entrepreneurs from China and Silicon Valley? Can Alibaba maintain its 80 percent market share? As it forges ahead into finance and entertainment, are there limits to Alibaba’s ambitions? How does the Chinese government view its rise? Will Alibaba expand further overseas, including in the U.S.? Clark tells Alibaba’s tale in the context of China’s momentous economic and social changes, illuminating an unlikely corporate titan as never before. —HarperCollins{chop}

The New Qualification for China’s Tech Elite: Goldman Sachs

Wei Gu
Wall Street Journal
Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial set to hire banker Douglas Feagin, latest in a string of Goldman alumni at Chinese Internet firms.

Sinica Podcast

04.19.16

Public Opinion with Chinese Characteristics

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
The immense popularity of social media has afforded China watchers a terrific window onto public opinion in China. In recent years, a slew of English-language websites have emerged to interpret the various trends and phenomena, discourse, and...

Conversation

04.12.16

Should Internet Censorship Be Considered a Trade Issue?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Susan Shirk & more
A new report from the Office of the United States Trade Representative lists, for the first time, Chinese Internet censorship as a trade barrier. The possible implications are complex: it could strengthen the hand of U.S. businesses, but also stands...

Conversation

03.15.16

What’s Driving the Current Storm of Chinese Censorship?

David Schlesinger, Anne Henochowicz & more
The latest lightning flashes on China’s shifting media horizon this month took the form of the banishment from social media of a real estate tycoon who voiced support for constructive criticism, the firing of an editor at a newspaper that appeared...

Conversation

03.04.16

Xi Jinping: A Cult of Personality?

Jonathan Landreth, Taisu Zhang & more
By some accounts, Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping is the most powerful leader the country has  had since Mao Zedong. One arrow in his quiver that echoes Mao’s armory is Xi’s embrace of popular song, listened to these days not on the radio or...

Read and delete: How Weibo's censors tackle dissent and free speech

Committee to Protect Journalists
A former employee gives insight into how Weibo balances the demands of government censorship with the need to attract users.

Married at 16: How a Story of Young Love Gripped China

BBC
Pictures of the baby-faced couple from Guangxi province in their wedding outfits went viral on social networks earlier this week.

Conversation

02.23.16

How Long Can China’s Internet Thrive if the Rest of the World Gets Shut Out?

David Schlesinger, Jeff South & more
Last week, Chinese authorities announced that as of March 10, foreign-invested companies would not be allowed to publish anything on the Chinese Internet unless they have obtained government permission to publish with a Chinese partner. What does...

Apple Encryption Case Risks Influencing Russia and China, Privacy Experts Say

Spencer Ackerman
Guardian
Analysts and lawmakers warn FBI that ramifications over its demand that Apple unlock San Bernardino killer’s iPhone ‘could snowball around the world’

The Social Media Search for Stolen Children in China

BBC
Hundreds of thousands of people are turning to social media in an attempt to find their missing children.

Media

01.07.16

Assessing China’s Plan to Build Internet Power

Scott D. Livingston
When the Chinese Communist Party targeted clean energy in its 11th Five Year Plan (2006-2010), the resulting investment spree upended the global clean energy market almost overnight. Now, as China approaches its 13th Five Year Plan, a new policy...

Media

12.17.15

Smarter, Sexier State Media: There’s an App for That

Before the Internet age, it used to be relatively straightforward for authoritarian regimes to dictate popular news consumption: just control all the major newspapers, as China’s ruling Communist Party has done since the founding of the People’s...

Sinica Podcast

12.01.15

Live at the Bookworm, Part II

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This is the second part of the Live Sinica discussion recorded last month during a special event at the Bookworm literary festival. In this show, David Moser and Kaiser Kuo were joined by China-newcomer Jeremy Goldkorn, fresh off the plane from...

Photo Of Breastfeeding Mom In Public Ignites Online Storm In China

Shen Lu and Katie Hunt
CNN
Some criticized the woman for exposing her "sexual organs" in public.

China Ranks Last of 65 Nations in Internet Freedom

New York Times
Chinese officials will be able to impose a prison sentence of up to seven years on a person convicted of creating and spreading “false information” online.

Media

10.01.15

When Chinese Internet Users Call Xi Jinping Daddy

Anne Henochowicz
Internet censorship in China has inspired the invention of a menagerie of online creatures: the river crab, the elephant of truth, the monkey-snake. Each beast’s name plays on a word or phrase that has at some point angered Chinese Internet users,...

China's Xi Promises Better Investment Climate, Cyber War Deal Seen

MICHAEL MARTINA, ERIC M. JOHNSON AND...
Reuters
Seeking to warm bilateral ties and project a sunny climate for U.S. business, Xi Jinping vowed to cut restrictions on foreign investment.

Media

08.13.15

Sorry China, the Internet You’re Looking for Does Not Exist

David Wertime
The long arm of China’s massive internal security apparatus just reached further into the heart of the country’s web. On August 4, China’s Ministry of Public Security announced that it would embed law enforcement officers at major Internet companies...

China Uses ‘Picking Quarrels’ Charge to Cast a Wider Net Online

Edward Wong
New York Times
Artists, essayists, lawyers, bloggers and others deemed to be online troublemakers have been hauled into police stations and investigated or imprisoned for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a charge that was once confined to physical...

Media

07.23.15

Why Taylor Swift’s 1989 Merchandise Is Not Going to Get Her Banned in China

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On July 20, one of China’s largest e-commerce websites, JD.com, announced that it is partnering with popular American singer Taylor Swift to become the first authorized retailer of her merchandise in China. That news likely wouldn’t have turned...

The Most-Viewed Fitting Room in China

Austin Ramzy
New York Times
Aside from shielding Internet users from political discussions the government considers deviant, China’s online censorship seeks to protect users minds from pornography.

China’s Web Users Find NYSE Shutdown Hilarious

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Within 30 minutes of the NYSE shutdown, the word spread on the Chinese Internet, and jokes came pouring in on China’s Twitter-like microblogging platform Weibo.

Who Would China Vote for in 2016?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Foreign Policy
Though media discussion of domestic politics remains muzzled in China, people there generally enjoy greater freedom to debate international news and politics.

China’s Controversial Technology Partnership with South Africa

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
The Chinese and South Africa governments have signed a pact, or a “plan of action,” where Beijing will provide a broad array of technology training, skills transfer, and ICT (information and communications technology) development for South Africa’s...

Viewpoint

04.22.15

Will China’s New Anti-Terrorism Law Mean the End of Privacy?

Scott D. Livingston
A newly drafted Chinese anti-terrorism law, if enacted in its current form, will empower Beijing to expand its already nearly unchecked policing of the Internet to reach web traffic and other online data flows emanating from both domestic and...

Media

04.13.15

The Chinese Internet Hates Hillary Clinton Even More than Republicans Do

Isaac Stone Fish
On the afternoon of April 12, Hillary Clinton announced her long-expected decision to run for president in 2016. Within hours, Chinese news sites shared the announcement on Weibo, China’s most popular micro-blogging platform, provoking thousands of...

Sinica Podcast

04.07.15

Cyber Leninism and the Political Culture of the Chinese Internet

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser Kuo and David Moser speak with Rogier Creemers, post-doctoral fellow at Oxford with a focus on Chinese Internet governance and author of the China Copyright and Media blog.{chop}

Yahoo to Shutter China Office and Cut “Around 350” Jobs

Martin Patience
BBC
The move not a huge surprise as Yahoo has been retreating since 2013 when it ended email servies in China. 

Books

03.05.15

Has the American Media Misjudged China

William J. Holstein, Editor on behalf of The Overseas Press Club
Thirty-five years after China's opening to the world, some of the key assumptions that have guided coverage are being tested by the presidency of Xi Jinping. This book is must reading for anyone involved in U.S.-Chinese relations or for anyone who is just plain curious about how the assumptions that have guided American media coverage of China are now being challenged by the presidency of Xi Jinping. He has a very different vision of his country's future than the one often presented in some media accounts. —William J. Holstein  {chop}

Media

03.03.15

The Word That Broke the Chinese Internet

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
It might be gibberish, but it’s also a sign of the times. The word duang, pronounced “dwong,” is spreading like wildfire throughout China’s active Internet—even though 1.3 billion Chinese people still haven’t figured out what it means. In fact, its...

Pollution Documentary ‘Under the Dome’ Blankets Chinese Internet

Te-Ping Chen
Wall Street Journal
Pollution Documentary ‘Under the Dome’ Blankets Chinese Internet http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2015/03/02/pollution-documentary-under-the-dome-blankets-chinese-internet/

In China, Suspicions Cloud Trade Dispute Involving Tech Companies

Paul Mozur and Jane Perlez
New York Times
Top Internet regulator has warned foreign companies to behave if they want to stay in China’s $450 billion technology market.

Media

02.23.15

Five Predictions for Chinese Censorship in the Year of the Sheep

Blocked websites, jailed journalists, and nationalist rhetoric have long been features of the Chinese Communist Party’s media control strategy. During the Year of the Horse, which just ended on China’s lunar calendar, President Xi Jinping and his...

Viewpoint

02.19.15

Beijing Touts ‘Cyber-Sovereignty’ In Internet Governance

Scott D. Livingston
It has been a difficult few weeks for global technology companies operating in China.Chinese officials strengthened the Internet firewall by blocking the use of virtual private networks (VPNs), reasserted demands that web users register their real...

China: Inventing a Crime

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
In late January, Chinese authorities announced that they are considering formal charges against Pu Zhiqiang, one of China’s most prominent human rights lawyers, who has been in detention since last May. Pu’s friends fear that even a life sentence is...

How to Be a Chinese Democrat: An Interview with Liu Yu

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
Liu Yu is one of China’s best-known America-watchers. A professor of political science at Tsinghua University, she lived in the U.S. from 2000 to 2007 and now researches democratization in developing countries, including her own. The thirty-eight-...

Conversation

01.29.15

Is China’s Internet Becoming an Intranet?

George Chen, Charlie Smith & more
With Astrill and several other free and paid-subscription virtual private networks (VPNs) that make leaping China’s Great Firewall possible now harder to use themselves after government interference "gummed" them up, the world wide web...

Caixin Media

01.27.15

China Boots Up an Internet Banking Industry

Premier Li Keqiang recently launched a new era for banking in China by ceremonially pressing the "confirm" button for a 35,000 yuan loan issued to a Shenzhen truck driver.Li's gesture on January 4 on behalf of Shenzhen Qianhai WeBank...

Tencent Launches China’s First Online-only Bank

Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
WeBank, a joint venture led by Chinese gaming and social network group Tencent Holdings, became the first private bank to start operations under a pilot, after the banking regulator granted licences to six such institutions last year. Its name comes...

Conversation

12.03.14

Can China Conquer the Internet?

David Bandurski, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
Lu Wei, China’s new Internet Czar, recently tried to get the world to agree to a model of information control designed by the Chinese Communist Party. Regular contributors comment below and we encourage readers to share their views on our Facebook...

At China Online Coming-Out Party, Beijing Spells out Internet Control Ambition

Paul Carsten
Reuters
China showed governments and the planet's biggest tech firms last week its vision for global Internet governance—clean, controlled and choreographed.

Sinica Podcast

11.25.14

Internet Wrangling in Wuzhen

Kaiser Kuo & Rogier Creemers from Sinica Podcast
Kaiser Kuo hosts alone this week as we turn our attention to the World Internet Conference (English site) last week, when a last minute attempt by Chinese organizers to foist the so-called Wuzhen Declaration on participants provoked an international...

Culture

11.07.14

‘The Training Wheels Are Coming Off,’ But That’s Not Necessarily A Good Thing

Jonathan Landreth
Making a movie is a wild ride no matter where you are in the world, a process fraught with ego and pride; wobblier, riskier, yet potentially more lucrative, the bigger and faster it gets.With U.S. gross sales of movie tickets basically flat, up just...

Manual on How to Spot a Spy Circulates in an Increasingly Wary China

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Or an American spy. Or a “hostile foreign force.” So says the “China Folk Counterespionage Manual,” a “how to spot a spy” guide circulating on the Internet.