China has the world’s largest Internet market with over 400 million people online. Chinese government has established the world’s most extensive, sophisticated, and technologically advanced online censorship system. This article aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of the Internet’s political impact by mapping out the dynamics of “domination and resistance” as well as citizen mobilization, and interpreting political discourse created by Chinese netizens. How are tech-savvy “information brokers” expanding free-information flow through the Great Firewall? What local issues generate online resonance and became national “internet events”? And what role are prominent bloggers playing in setting the national media agenda? This article also explains how online activism gradually undermines the values and ideology that reproduce compliance with the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian regime, and, as such, force an opening for free expression and civil society in China.
Liberation Technology: The Battle for the Chinese Internet
Issue Date April 2011
Page Numbers 47-61