Books

04.24.12

Changing Media, Changing China

Susan L. Shirk (editor)
Thirty years ago, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) made a fateful decision: to allow newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations to compete in the marketplace instead of being financed exclusively by the government. The political and social implications of that decision are still unfolding as the Chinese government, media, and public adapt to the new information environment.Edited by Susan Shirk, one of America's leading experts on contemporary China, this collection of essays brings together a who's who of experts—Chinese and American—writing about all aspects of the changing media landscape in China. In detailed case studies, the authors describe how the media is reshaping itself from a propaganda mouthpiece into an agent of watchdog journalism, how politicians are reacting to increased scrutiny from the media, and how television, newspapers, magazines, and Web-based news sites navigate the cross-currents between the open marketplace and the CCP censors. China has over 360 million Internet users, more than any other country, and an astounding 162 million bloggers. The growth of Internet access has dramatically increased the information available, the variety and timeliness of the news, and its national and international reach. But China is still far from having a free press. As of 2008, the international NGO Freedom House ranked China 181 worst out of 195 countries in terms of press restrictions, and Chinese journalists have been aptly described as "dancing in shackles." The recent controversy over China's censorship of Google highlights the CCP's deep ambivalence toward information freedom.Covering everything from the rise of business media and online public opinion polling to environmental journalism and the effect of media on foreign policy, Changing Media, Changing China reveals how the most populous nation on the planet is reacting to demands for real news. —Oxford University Press

Reports

01.06.12

“Social Management” as a Way of Coping With Heightened Social Tensions

Joseph Fewsmith
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
Over the last year there has been an increasing emphasis on “social management” as a way of managing increasing social tensions in Chinese society. Indeed, the effort the CCP is putting into publicizing this concept underscores high-level concerns...

Sinica Podcast

11.04.11

The Extremes of China Media

Jeremy Goldkorn, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
It seems to be the consensus among longtime China watchers that the Chinese media has become more radicalized over the last five years, with both online and traditional channels now feeding the public conflicting stories of both reflexive scorn for...

Sinica Podcast

05.20.11

Inscrutable China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
It may be because we’ve yet to finish Henry Kissinger’s latest book on the subject, but we’ll admit to having found life in China a bit more inscrutable than normal these past few weeks, and all evidence suggests we’re not alone. Seen through the...

Sinica Podcast

04.22.11

China’s Second Internet Bubble?

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Interest in Chinese Internet companies has reached a fever pitch. Fueled by the fact that roughly fifty percent of the companies that went public on NASDAQ last year were Chinese in origin, at least seventeen more high-profile companies are planning...

Sinica Podcast

03.25.11

Where Did the Internet/Salt Go?

Kaiser Kuo, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
In less time than it took Chinese netizens to strip their supermarkets of common table salt, China ended its live-and-let-live policy with regards to the most commonly used tools for evading the country’s Internet restrictions. Recent weeks have...

How China Fears the Middle East Revolutions

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
Chinese authorities have done what they can to stop news—and worse, from their point of view, any influence—of Tunisian and Egyptian people-power from spreading to China. They have been worrying especially about what social media like Twitter and...

Sinica Podcast

02.18.11

Turmoil in Egypt and Groupon

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Welcome back to Sinica after our New Year’s break. And what could headline our first podcast of the New Year but Egypt, where an unexpected political uprising has raised obvious parallels for China-watchers worldwide. Moving beyond the politics of...

Sinica Podcast

12.10.10

The Wikileaks Revelations, Part III

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
As Interpol deepens its investigation into Mr. Assange’s use of birth control and financial service companies feel the wrath of script-kiddies worldwide, our own crew of Internet vigilantes sifts through the remains of the Wikileaks data-dump in...

Sinica Podcast

11.12.10

The End of Chinese Internet Civility

Jeremy Goldkorn, Gady Epstein & more from Sinica Podcast
Simmering tensions between Qihoo 360 and Tencent broke into open war last week, as Tencent disabled its chat software on computers running 360 antivirus software. This move was the most aggressive yet in a serious of escalating attacks between the...

Sinica Podcast

06.25.10

Beijing’s Ambivalent Relationship with the Internet

Jeremy Goldkorn, Bill Bishop & more from Sinica Podcast
Mere mention of Chinese Internet censorship is no longer taboo. Or that’s our take-away from a recent white paper by the State Council Information Office that outlines exactly how and why the Chinese government plans to tighten controls over online...

Sinica Podcast

04.16.10

China’s Gadflies and the Mine Miracle

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This Week: Kaiser Kuo hosts a discussion all about China’s best-known gadflies: artist-cum-activist Ai Weiwei and writer, auto racer, and blogger Han Han. So join us as we talk about who both of these public figures are and why they have gained so...

Sinica Podcast

04.02.10

Google China and the Pullout

Kaiser Kuo & Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
What exactly happened earlier this week with Google’s inaccessibility? Does Yasheng Huang have the right take on their pull-out of China, or is Tania Branigan from The Guardian more on the money? What are the consequences for Google’s future in Asia...

Books

04.01.10

China’s Telecommunications Revolution

Eric Harwit
China's telecommunications industry has seen revolutionary transformation and growth over the past three decades. Chinese Internet users number nearly 150 million, and the P.R.C. expects to quickly pass the U.S. in total numbers of connected citizens. The number of mobile and fixed-line telephone users soared from a mere 2 million in 1980 to a total of nearly 800 million in 2007. China has been the most successful developing nation in history for spreading telecommunications access at an unparalleled rapid pace.This book tells how China conducted its remarkable “telecommunications revolution.” It examines both corporate and government policy to get citizens connected to both voice and data networks, looks at the potential challenges to the one-party government when citizens get this access, and considers the new opportunities for networking now offered to the people of one of the world's fastest growing economies. The book is based on the author's fieldwork conducted in several Chinese cities, as well as extensive archival research. It focuses on key issues such as building and running the country's Internet, mobile phone company rivalry, foreign investment in the sector, and telecommunications in China’s vibrant city of Shanghai. It also considers the country’s internal “digital divide,” and questions how equitable the telecommunications revolution has been. Finally, it examines the ways the P.R.C.'s entry to the World Trade Organization will shape the future course of telecommunications growth.             —Oxford University Press

Reports

08.01.06

Race to the Bottom: Corporate Complicity in Chinese Internet Censorship

Rebecca MacKinnon
Human Rights Watch
China’s system of Internet censorship and surveillance, popularly known as the “Great Firewall,” is the most advanced in the world. In this report, Human Rights Watch documents how extensive corporate and private sector cooperation—including by some...

Reports

11.22.05

Internet Development and Information Control in the People’s Republic of China

Michelle W. Lau
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Since its founding in 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has often been accused of manipulating the flow of information and prohibiting the dissemination of viewpoints that criticize the government or stray from the official Communist party...

China: Wiping Out the Truth

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
Somehow poison got into the food at a snack shop in Nanjing, China, on September 14, 2002, and more than four hundred people fell ill. After forty-one of them died, the official Xinhua News Agency posted a notice warning of contaminated food in...

China in Cyberspace

Ian Buruma from New York Review of Books
It is not widely known that the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan are now at war. The battles are not being fought on land, however, or at sea, or even, strictly speaking, in the air; they take place in cyberspace, where nobody so far has ever...