Chinese Internet has always been something of interest to me, mainly because I can’t fathom the concept of not being able to speak my mind on a social networking site. At the beginning China was described as a SICK BRIK country, what he meant was that Brazil, Russia, India and China are all about of the emerging economy while also Syria, Iran, China and North Korea all don’t have internet. China doesn’t have Internet as they have a great firewall, which is the biggest digital boundary in the entire world, thus preventing Chinese citizens to access the Internet. For the last fifteen years this concept of Chinas Internet or commonly referred to as ‘China net’ was summed up well in the metaphor of a ‘cat and a mouse.’ The cat being the Chinese censorship and the mouse is the citizen. You would think with the 500 million Internet users in China they would have more access, however while we have Google, they have Baidu, Twitter is Weibo, Facebook is Renren and Youtube is Youku Tudou. This idea of blocking every web 2.0 services is then cloned in order to provide people with social networking the way Chinese Government want it. This whole idea of free speech among those services is still highly limited, for example you can’t post the name of the president, city Chingqing or search the surname of top leaders. If you did any of those things you would definitely be arrested. Although the Chinese government did allow free speech for five days, which has never happened before in Chinese history. This was when a train fell off a bridge and many died, the person in charge wanted to just cover it up. Many Chinese citizens took to social networking and freely expressed their opinion on the matter. The person in charge was placed in jail and had his title taken from him as a result. So where to go from here? This idea of social networking has changed Chinese way of life and created a national public sphere, which is a first for Chinese history. One day Chinese Internet will hopefully be filled with more freedom of speech and less firewall, a dream maybe, but everyone deserves to get their voices heard.

Advertisements