Chinese Hold Online Protest Against Child Predators, Say #GetARoomWithMe Instead

Lotus Yuen
In response to a recent alleged rape, Chinese citizens have waged a unique form of protest online, using memes and social networking to further a cause to draw attention and comment on the issue. 

China’s Baidu to Pay $370 Million for Internet Video Business

Neil Gough
Deal Book
Acquiring the video business from P.P.S. will increase Baidu’s position in China’s fractious market for online entertainment and help iQiyi compete better against Youku Tudou. 

Chinese Suggestions for Improving Internet Disappear

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
Few things irritate Chinese netizens as much as how their government acts on the Internet: blocking access to many foreign websites, censoring content and comments on Chinese websites and directing paid commentators to promote the...

Sinica Podcast

05.17.13

An Evening with Bill Bishop

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week, Kaiser and Jeremy welcome back Bill Bishop, the force behind the invaluable Sinocism newsletter and the man Evan Osnos once referred to as “the China watcher’s China watcher.” Starting with a look at Bill’s past and how he ended up in...

Alibaba Buys Stake In Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter

Michael J. De La Merced
Deal Book
Alibaba and Sina also agreed to cooperate in improving ways to marry social networking with e-commerce, as microblogging services like Sina’s continue to grow in popularity.

Watch Imprint On Quake Official’s Wrist Goes Viral

Laura Zhou
South China Morning Post
A picture showing an official's wrist, with what appears to be the imprint of a watch, has gone viral with many Netizens wondering whether the timepiece was removed in light of scandals involving corrupt officials caught wearing expensive...

Six Reasons Why Chinese People Will Drive The Next Bull Market In Bitcoin

Gwynn Guilford
Quartz
The virtual currency’s decentralized and speculative nature, combined with the country’s experience with online currencies and “gold-mining” in the past are all cited as possible factors contributing to Bitcoin’s future take off in China.

Chinese Media Seize On Death Of Promising Student

Didi Kristen Tatlow
International Herald Tribune
The family of Lu Lingzi, the young Chinese woman killed in the attack at the Boston Marathon, didn’t want their daughter’s name revealed, but at least 12,000 people had left comments in her memory on her microblog account after it was...

China Sees The Best And Worst Of America In Boston Bombing

Max Fisher
Washington Post
Chinese Web users seemed to draw two general conclusions: that China would be more effective at preventing a Boston-style attack, but that the U.S. is better equipped to respond to and cope such an event. 

Books

04.19.13

The Power of the Internet in China

Guobin Yang
Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has revolutionized popular expression in China, enabling users to organize, protest, and influence public opinion in unprecedented ways. Guobin Yang’s pioneering study maps an innovative range of contentious forms and practices linked to Chinese cyberspace, delineating a nuanced and dynamic image of the Chinese Internet as an arena for creativity, community, conflict, and control. Like many other contemporary protest forms in China and the world, Yang argues, Chinese online activism derives its methods and vitality from multiple and intersecting forces, and state efforts to constrain it have only led to more creative acts of subversion. Transnationalism and the tradition of protest in China’s incipient civil society provide cultural and social resources to online activism. Even Internet businesses have encouraged contentious activities, generating an unusual synergy between commerce and activism. Yang’s book weaves these strands together to create a vivid story of immense social change, indicating a new era of informational politics.              —Columbia University Press

Conversation

04.16.13

Why is China Still Messing with the Foreign Press?

Andrew J. Nathan, Isabel Hilton & more
To those raised in the Marxist tradition, nothing in the media happens by accident.  In China, the flagship newspapers are still the “throat and tongue” of the ruling party, and their work is directed by the Party’s Propaganda Department...

China’s Internet: A Giant Cage

Economist
Not only has Chinese authoritarian rule survived the internet, but the state has shown great skill in bending the technology to its own purposes, enabling it to exercise better control of its own society and setting an example for other repressive...

Caixin Media

04.01.13

Staking a New Claim on Internet Insurance

When three household brand names in China announced they would cooperate to form a company offering insurance services on the Internet, excitement naturally was the order of the day.Last year, Alibaba Group, Tencent Holdings, and Ping An Insurance...

Media

03.21.13

The Men Are Louder: A Gender Analysis of Weibo

Does Sina Weibo provide an equal platform for expression for both men and women in China? According to a recent study conducted by Sun Huan, a graduate student in Comparative Media Studies and a research assistant at the Center for Civic Media at...

China Plenty Creative, Just Not in Right Ways

Debra Bruno
WSJ: China Real Time Report
The best innovation in the post-industrial world comes from “the sharing of knowledge and information across a variety of fields,” something economist Arthur Kroeber says China’s restriction on free information actively stanches. 

Why John Kerry Must Listen to China’s Social Web

Anka Lee and David Wertime
Atlantic
Familiarity with citizen voices abroad, and the ability to leverage grassroots sentiment to amplify diplomatic impact, is a vital prerequisite for Washington’s unique brand of engagement.

Media

03.04.13

‘Zombies’ and ‘Reincarnation’

Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, announced on February 20 that it had surpassed half a billion users—more people than live in South America, and approximately the population of North America. Thickly-settled Europe edges out Weibo by...

Reports

02.28.13

Challenged in China

David Schlesinger, Sophie Beach, Madeline Earp, and Danny O'Brien
Committee to Protect Journalists
As Xi Jinping takes office as president of China, the citizenry he governs is more sophisticated and interconnected than any before, largely because of the Internet. A complex digital censorship system—combined with a more traditional approach to...

Caixin Media

02.24.13

Dirty Business for China’s Internet Scrubbers

Flames of a public relations disaster were licking at the heels of a private equity firm when China’s most notorious Internet-scrubbing company rode to the rescue.Saving the Shenzhen-based firm’s image was not cheap, and it took more than two months...

A Look At Mandiant, Allegations On China Hacking

The Associated Press
Associated Press
An introduction to Mandiant, the details of its recent report on alleged government-affiliated Chinese hacking, why the report is significant, and potential backlash from the report.

‘Loser Dance’: The Harlem Shake With Chinese Characteristics

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
The latest viral music video craze has managed to catch on with the world’s largest population of Internet users not long after conquering banned-in-China YouTube.

Viewpoint

01.24.13

China at the Tipping Point?

Perry Link & Xiao Qiang
Of all the transformations that Chinese society has undergone over the past fifteen years, the most dramatic has been the growth of the Internet. Information now circulates and public opinions are now expressed on electronic bulletin boards with...

Media

01.23.13

A Map of Two Chinas

On Friday, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced that income inequality in the country exceeds a warning level set by the United Nations.China’s publication of its Gini coefficient—a widely used measure of economic equity—drew attention...

Media

01.16.13

Their Horizons Widening, China’s Web Users Look Abroad — And Want More

Last week, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt urged North Korean leaders to embrace the Internet. Only a small proportion of that country’s 24 million people can access the World Wide Web, and the majority of the 1.5 million mobile phones there...

Apple CEO: China Will Be Biggest Market

Joe McDonald
Associated Press
Apple has said sales in China more than doubled in 2010 and 2011 though growth has slowed in the past year.

Google Concedes Defeat in Chinese Censorship Battle

Josh Halliday
Guardian
U.S. company quietly drops warning message that Chinese users saw when searching for politically sensitive phrases

Opinion: Cheap Meth! Cheap Guns! Click Here

Nicholas Kristof
New York Times
How about cracking down on Web sites that sell guns and drugs, while leaving be those that traffic in ideas and information?

Media

12.24.12

The Most Popular Chinese Web Searches of 2012

What did China search for in 2012? It wasn’t the hotly disputed Diaoyu Islands or the widely-watched London Olympics.On Baidu.com, China’s homegrown search engine commanding about eighty-three percent of the Chinese search market, the most popular...

The Top 10 Chinese Internet Memes of 2012

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
2012 saw social media supercharg one of contemporary China’s finest forms of cultural and political expression: the Internet meme.

How Ordinary Chinese Are Talking And Fighting Back

Frank Langfitt
NPR
Roughly 400 million Chinese use Weibo, China's Twitter, and often do so to expose corruption.

Media

11.19.12

A Conservative Commentator Calls Out Chinese Liberals, and Liberals Shout Back

Speech on the Chinese Internet, it seems, is beginning to thaw once more following the country’s leadership transition. After months of speculation, new Chinese leader Xi Jinping was announced on November 16 at the close of the 18th Party Congress,...

China, Are You Ready for Some American Football?

Jonathan Landreth
New York Times
The NFL is hoping that American football’s flash could someday give basketball and soccer a run for their money in China.

Sensitive Words: Bo Xilai’s Expulsion

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
Since Bo Xilai’s expulsion from the Communist Party and announcement that he would face criminal charges, a number of Sina Weibo terms related to Bo which were previously blocked from search results are now live once again...

Foreign Journalists in China Targeted by Malware Attacks

Lucy Hornby
Reuters
Foreign journalists in Beijing have been targeted by two very similar malware attacks in just over two weeks in the lead-up to China's once-in-a-decade leadership transition. The emails - one appearing to come from a Beijing-based...

Media

09.16.12

What Microblogs Aren’t Telling You About China

Amy Qin
In China, where notions of freedom of speech and freedom of expression are seen by the government as secondary to the all-important ideal of social stability, there is little space, if any, for truly open and unmediated public conversation...

Review: Ai Weiwei's Blog (The Book)

Alec Ash
Los Angeles Review of Books
On May 28, 2009, the readers of artist and activist Ai Weiwei's blog — hosted on Sina, a popular Chinese internet portal — logged onto blog.sina.com.cn/aiweiwei to find the message "This blog has already been closed. If you have queries,...

Photoshopping Dissent: Circumventing China's Censors With Internet Memes

Jessica Levine
Atlantic
Liu Bo is famous. One of many police officers assigned to quash recent protests over a planned molybdenum copper plant in Shifang, Sichuan province, Bo was famously pictured with a riot shield strapped to his forearm, baton raised, charging at the...

To Chinese, Obama and Romney Aren’t So Different

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s promise to get tough with China may fall on receptive ears in the U.S., but in China his vow has barely registered, much less caused alarm. Unlike in 2008, when the Chinese media and bloggers...

Searching for a People

Gloria Davies
China Story
The disaffected characters of Pirandello’s work offer us perhaps a way to understand the complaints and parodies of Communist Party rule that abound on the Chinese Internet. If unelected rule had previously allowed China’s party-state to claim...

Sinica Podcast

08.31.12

The Huawei Enigma

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Is there any other company that better captures the dual way China is perceived internationally than Huawei? As one of China’s few market-based telecommunications equipment providers, the company is in many ways a symbol of China’s high-tech, global...

Michael Anti: Behind the Great Firewall of China

Michael Anti
TEDTalks
Michael Anti (aka Jing Zhao) has been blogging from China for 12 years. Despite the control the central government has over the Internet -- "All the servers are in Beijing" -- he says that hundreds of millions of microbloggers are in fact...

Meet China's 'Legendary Female Cyber Cop'

Adam Segal
Atlantic
The Chinese press has recently introduced two new model workers active in cybersecurity: Li Congna (李聪娜) of the PLA, and the "Legendary Female Cyber Cop," Gao Yuan (高 媛) of the Beijing Public Security Bureau's Cybersecurity Defense...

Media

08.16.12

The People’s Daily Said What?

Bi Cheng
In the course of its dramatic growth, China often churns out unprecedented numbers. But few of them have been more controversial than the recently released National Revival Index, a formula devised to measure China’s economic and social development...

China’s Microbloggers Take On Re-Education Camps

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
Over the last two years, as China’s microblogging culture has expanded, observers inside and outside the country have found hopeful signs that the Communist Party is starting to respect and respond to public opinion voiced online. The most notable...

How Weibo is Changing China

Mary Kay Magistad
YaleGlobal Online
Weibo – China’s version of Twitter – has created a vigorous virtual public square since it was launched by the Chinese internet company Sina three years ago this month. The site, which allows users to post photos, videos, comments and messages, has...

China’s Dark PR: Time to Say Goodbye to Paid Censorship

Charlie Custer
Tech in Asia
Over the weekend, news broke that three Baidu employees were arrested on suspicion of accepting payoffs in return for deleting posts from Baidu’s online forums. A fourth employee was not arrested, but was fired by Baidu. A Baidu spokeswoman told the...

Will Chinese Courts Refuse to Accept Suits Involving Internet Censorship?

David Wertime
As the Chinese Internet hurtles headlong into an uncertain future, the country’s legal system struggles to catch up. Pressed for time, the government’s reaction may be to fashion the legal equivalent of a blunt axe, rather than a finely crafted...

Rural Chinese Get Online as Mobile Overtakes Desktop

BBC
For the first time, desktop computers are no longer the leading method for the country's 538 million connected citizens to get online. The report from the China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC) said over 50% of the year's new...

Weibo: How China's Version of Twitter Changed Five Lives

Duncan Hewitt
BBC
The impact of the internet on society in China is arguably greater than in any other country on earth. Not only does it give people channels to express themselves - something which for political reasons has previously been almost impossible - but...

Vacuum-Cleaning the Internet

Li Yongchun
Media regulators issued rules this week tightening censorship rules on web video content while encouraging private investment to consider stakes in state media companies. The combination of the new rules has resulted in mixed signals for the...

Measures to Manage Online Programs

Sun Li
China Daily
The country's broadcasting and Internet watchdogs will step up their management of online programs, including website-produced shows and micro films, to ensure healthy development of the Web environment.

Online Censorship: Monitoring the Monitors

Economist
The 500m people who use the internet in China have long been aware of the presence of the censors who watch their movements online and delete their more inflammatory posts. Now those monitors may have to get used to someone watching over their...

No Weibo for the New York Times

Anne Henochowicz
China Digital Times
The New York Times Chinese-language venture, launched this Wednesday, is off to a bumpy start. While the website itself is running, the site’s Sina Weibo account went down just hours after its launch. It was up again on Thursday evening. “Given that...

China Blocks Access to Bloomberg and Businessweek Sites

BBC
Web users in mainland China are unable to access Bloomberg's websites, after they were blocked by local authorities. The news agency thinks the move is a response to an article published about the fortunes of Vice President Xi Jinping's...

China's Bloggers Push for Change, One Click at a Time

Keith B. Richburg
Washington Post
Blogger-activists are far from revolutionary. Like the incoming leaders , many of them are children of Communist Party officials. They are patriots who love China, but want its institutions to work better and on behalf of the people. They take on...

You've Got State-Sponsored Mail

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
Living in Beijing, writing about politically sensitive things now and then, you get used to the idea that somebody, somewhere, might be watching. But it is usually an abstract threat. I opened my Gmail account a couple of mornings ago and found this...

Media

06.06.12

In the News: Fact vs. Rumor

Amy Qin
China-focused news editors have had numerous causes for celebration in the past few months. The various scandals surrounding the dethronement of Bo Xilai, the dramatic nighttime escape of blind activist Chen Guancheng, and the upcoming Party...

Debunking the Zhang Ziyi Rumor

Damien Ma
Atlantic
A combination of happenstance and a quick finger with my camera phone recently landed me at the surreal nexus of celebrity tabloid and political crisis in China. The incident also gave me a front-row seat to Chinese social media's rumor-...

Reports

06.05.12

How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism But Silences Collective Expression

Gary King, Jennifer Pan, Margaret Roberts
Kennett Werner
Harvard University
Contrary to previous understandings, Chinese Internet posts with negative, even vitriolic, criticism of the state, its leaders, and its policies are not more likely to be censored than posts without this content. Instead, this study shows that the...

Media

05.31.12

Godwin’s Law with Chinese Characteristics

Hu Yong
This winter writer-blogger-race car-driver Han Han found himself facing charges of plagiarism from celebrated fraud-buster Fang Zhouzi. Both Han and Fang have huge followings among China’s microbloggers. And their personal disagreement soon...