China & New Media: guanxi, QQ, cyberwar preparations and the “Great Firewall”

Is the Internet reshaping Chinese culture?

Excited and emboldened by the wealth of information they find on the Internet, Chinese teens are breaking centuries of tradition to challenge their teachers and express their own opinions in class. Wearing jerseys emblazoned with the names of European soccer stars, downloading weekly episodes of “Prison Break,” listening to 50 Cent, and reading Japanese comic books, China’s current high school generation is plugging itself directly into international culture. And it’s giving the kids ideas. Ideas that could one day transform the way this country is governed. “The Internet has given Chinese children wings,” says Sun Yun Xiao, vice president of the China Youth and Children Research Center.

Read Web opens world for young Chinese, but erodes respect from the Christian Science Monitor

Guanxi, China’s cultural heritage lends itself to ‘social media’

In China, the concept of guanxi ranks right up there with air, water, food, love, and tea as an essential of life. Air and water are becoming compromised in China, but not guanxi. In its simplest translation, guanxi means connections or relationships. The concept is really far more complex than that, easily the stuff of dissertations. I found one blogger’s struggle to define the social capital of guanxi appealing. He said the important qualities are whom you know; whom the people you want to know know; whom the people you already know know. Or something like that.

Read Deborah Fallows’ take on guanxi from the Pew Internet & American Life Project

Chinese new media consumption centers on fun

No other Internet company in the world — not even Google — has achieved the kind of dominance in its home market that Tencent commands in China, where its all-in-one packaging of entertainment offerings and a mobile instant-messaging service, “QQ,” has reached more than 100 million users, or nearly 80 percent of the market….While America’s Internet users send e-mail messages and surf for information on their personal computers, young people in China are playing online games, downloading video and music into their cellphones and MP3 players and entering imaginary worlds where they can swap virtual goods and assume online personas.

Read Internet Boom in China Is Built on Virtual Fun (free login needed) from the New York Times

The “Great Firewall” of China

Flickr is the latest casualty of China’s ongoing battle to control the internet. Wikipedia and a raft of other popular websites, discussion boards and blogs have already fallen victim to the country’s censors. China employs a complex system of filters and an army of tens of thousands of human monitors to survey the country’s 140 million internet users’ surfing habits and remove content deemed too sensitive….Its stability-obsessed government says the surveillance machinery, commonly known as the “Great Firewall,” is necessary to let internet users enjoy a “healthy” online environment and build a “harmonious” society.

Read this article from New Scientist

China wants to lead the cyber-arms race

The Defense Department said in its annual report on China’s military power last month that China regarded computer network operations — attacks, defense and exploitation — as critical to achieving “electromagnetic dominance” early in a conflict.

Read this item from the Washington Post

More? Ok.

  • China residents logging on in greater numbers from Ars
  • China: Two more years to Internet No. 1? from C|Net
  • Web 2.0 madness grips China from C|Net
  • US says China isn’t doing enough about piracy, files complaint with WTO from Ars
  • China seeks to ‘limit game hours’ from the BBC
  • China: Better at censoring blogs than malware from Ars

  • Track all things China + New Media from the What’s New Media blog?


    1 Comment

    Filed under A Culture of Participation, A democratic medium?, Censorship, Same as it ever Was, Social Media, The Politics of New Media, Virtual Communities, web 2.0, When New Meets Old

    One response to “China & New Media: guanxi, QQ, cyberwar preparations and the “Great Firewall”

    1. Pingback: the”Great Firewall”: China and New Media « Angela A Thomas

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