What are some interesting things about the Internet and its evolution in China?

Michael Gong

Michael Gong, Chinese postgraduate student

Mise à jour il y a 302w

I’m definitely not agreed with Mr. Zeng. What he said is by no means interesting thing about China’s internet although it’s true and there certainly exists many funny things on China’s internet which maybe different from anywhere else.
China has a netizen population of more than 500m which makes online communities uniquely interesting compared to other nations. The populous online communities do create some events that may never have happened anywhere else.
One of the most famous events that represent the overwhelming power of Chinese netizens is the “Jia Junpeng event” which took place on Baidu tieba(one of the biggest forum in China) in July 2009. One tieba member posted a posts that said “Jia Junpeng, your mother called you to come back home and have dinner!” Jia Junpeng is just a common and familiar Chinese name. Amazingly the posts got 300 thousands replies during that day. What’s more, by December 2011, this legendary post had over 40 million clicks and more than a million replies.
Other than amusement, the internet is also a powerful tool for political rights although it’s rigidly restricted. A famous event that happened this year is the sacking of the director of work safety bureau in Shanxi province. Earlier this year, a photo of a serious car accident was spread throughout the internet. The photo showed a senior official of Shanxi province smiling in front of the accident. This official, named Yang Dacai, was the director mentioned before. Furious netizens not only expressed their anger through different forums and miroblogs, but also found out a series of news pictures on which Yang wore watches of different Swiss bands. Those expensive watches, which senior officials like Yang were unable to afford by their salary, incurred a further investigation of Yang’s corruption and his stepping down at last. You know what, in fact every single Chinese man is fully aware that Yang is absolutely not more corrupted than other senior officials. That is a really interesting aspect of Chinese internet which deserves further discussion.

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I think the following news reflects some interesting things happened on the mirocblog in China.

Sex, lies and videotapes: A year in Chinese microblogs

Sex, lies and videotapes: A year in Chinese microblogs
By Samanthi Dissanayake and Zhuang Chennouvelles de la BBC
The year 2012 was meant to be a stable one for China as it prepared for its once-in-a-generation leadership change.
But things didn't quite go to script as lurid scandals emerged across the country featuring officials from the all-powerful Communist Party, some of whom were local and some very prominent.
One of the most notable features was the number of scandals unearthed by angry microbloggers determined to root out official corruption.
China's emboldened microbloggers?
As growing concern about corruption and abuse of power spread through China's microblogs, netizens began a quest to expose what they saw as official malpractice themselves.
All of this took place despite official measures such as in March when millions of microblog users, initially in Beijing, had to register with their real identities to post online. It was an effort by the authorities to prevent the spread of what they called "unfounded rumours".
Nevertheless a number of local officials were actually forced to resign after web users took it upon themselves to make public their alleged wrongdoing.
But analysts warn that this cannot be taken as a sign of a vibrant and liberated blogosphere in China. Many of those exposed online were middle and low-ranking figures who were subsequently disciplined by the party. The major stories involving national-level political figures have been quashed or controlled.
Microbloggers could make such exposes partly because the authorities allowed them to do so. Indeed, some argue that allowing this kind of online activism is a safety valve, an alternative to serious political participation or reform.
The biggest scandals: Censors vs bloggers
The most significant furores had little to do with the work of micro-bloggers. The biggest scandal saw the downfall of Bo Xilai, Communist Party chief in Chongqing, who was tipped for the very top - until his wife's conviction for the murder of a British businessman.

What are some interesting things about the Internet and its evolution in China?

Bo Xilai: China's biggest scandal was censored online
The blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng also fled house arrest to seek refuge in the US embassy, provoking a diplomatic crisis.
When Wang Lijun, the police chief in Chongqing, sought refuge in the US consulate in Chengdu in February, after falling out with Bo Xilai, the news leaked via microblog posts inquiring about the unusually heavy security outside the consulate.
Speculation online was rife but once Mr Bo was suspended from China's Politburo, the government clamped down.
Online the censors worked harder than ever clamping down on references to the incidents, forcing microbloggers to become ever more creative in their efforts to discuss these.
For example, Bo in Chinese can mean "thin" so web users who wanted to discuss the scandal as it played out began to refer to him as "not thick" or bu hou. Those who wanted to search for Chen Guangcheng had to refer to "the blind man". Even that was eventually censored.
Then there was the tomato code for Bo Xilai. Tomato in Chinese is Xi Hong Shi, "Xi" means west, "Hong" means red and "Shi" sounds like city. As Mr Bo was known for promoting old-fashioned "red" Maoist priniciples in the western city of Chongqing, calling him "west red city" - Xi Hong Shi - or tomato - made sense to the microbloggers.
Many posters are wry: "Both Wang Lijun and Chen Guangcheng fled to the US consulate/embassy. It seems that these are the safest places in the world."
Investigations into wealth allegedly amassed by the families of politburo members came from journalists outside China and were either rebuffed or ignored.
When Bo Xilai was expelled there was an initial torrent of posts but this later appears to have been suppressed.
But the real prizes for the microblog users were the local officials suspected of corruption. A series of stings and online posts ended a number of careers.
Caught smiling at a bus crash
When Shaanxi province safety official Yang Dacai was caught on camerasmiling at the scene of a bus crash which killed 36 people, microbloggers began a campaign against him that would end in his dismissal.

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What are some interesting things about the Internet and its evolution in China?

The luxury watch collection proved too much
Web users found pictures of him wearing a series of wrist watches that an expert told the China Daily newspaper were worth more than $40,000 (£25,000) in total. People demanded an investigation into his behaviour.
He even fielded questions on his own weibo microblog. He explained that he was trying to relax officials at the time of the crash and "so maybe, in an unguarded moment, I got a little too relaxed myself".
He also explained that he "used legal income" to buy a number of watches but questions were asked about how many luxury watches a provincial official could afford.
He was eventually sacked.
The party official and his teenage mistress
En Novembre screenshots from a sex video apparently featuring Chongqing Communist Party official Lei Zhengfu emerged, reposted many times on Chinese microblogs.

What are some interesting things about the Internet and its evolution in China?

Mr Lei's sacking was one of the most popular subjects on China's microblog sites
The images were purportedly of Mr Lei, 57, having sex with his 18-year-old mistress. Mr Lei insisted the video was fake but local party officials concluded that the man in the pictures was indeed him.
He was removed from office and an investigation is under way.
The BBC's Beijing bureau interviewed Zhu Ruifeng, the investigative journalist credited with exposing Mr Lei. "I am very happy when I battle corrupt officials," Mr Zhu said.
Another official and his twin mistresses
In December a police chief in China's Wusu city was sacked after accusations that he kept twin sisters as mistresses, state media reported.
The allegations against Qi Fang included claims he gave his two mistresses police jobs. They first appeared on a popular website, accompanied in Xinjiang province by a photo showing the scantily-clad mistresses in bed, Xinhua news agency said.
The website also said that Mr Qi rented an expensive apartment for the sisters and charged the rent as an official expense.
A local party official was quoted by Xinhua as saying that while "part of the online allegations" were true, many details "remain unverified".
The policeman's angry son
Just days earlier a top policeman was suspended amid allegations of a cover-up after his son was filmed in a confrontation with police when stopped for drink driving.
State media reported that the deputy police chief of Shanxi province was removed from duties after video was posted online showing the confrontation with police.
A blood alcohol test reportedly showed the son was over the legal alcohol limit, but media reports say he was escorted home by police officers.
A "concubine" and kickbacks?
And also in December, state media reported that the mayor of Xingtai in China's Hebei province has become embroiled in a corruption scandal.
Liu Daqun was alleged to have taken kickbacks over land sales and construction projects as well as keeping a mistress, a letter in the name of 29 local cadres which was posted online says.
The letter writers say that Mr Liu's alleged actions have already been reported to the Communist Party. There has been no response from provincial authorities.

Archit Kumar

Archit Kumar, Work by internet and Work for internet

Répondu il y a 141w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 51 et de vues de réponses 905.6k

Interesting facts about internet in china:

  • The Internet Police: The Internet Police reportedly employs 30,000 agents who investigate individuals who post information online that may be offensive to Chinese government and officials. This kind of information may include rumors or state secrets, as well as material that brings down Chinese morale and its reputation, according to CNN.
  • All keystrokes are recorded: Even in Internet cafes, all chats, online games and e-mails are recorded by the government, making it impossible to fly under the radar or send any truly private messages.
  • The Internet Detective: The Chinese government uses a special kind of spy software called the Internet Detective that records sites you visit, e-mails, games, message board activity and identity card numbers. The government says that it uses this spyware to make it easier to catch criminals who use Internet cafes.
  • Great Firewall vs. Golden Shield: The official name for the online censorship idea is the Golden Shield Project, which began in 1998. Critics of the project refer it to the Great Firewall of China.
  • China has more web surfers than America: China’s population is of course larger than the population of the U.S., but Americans once dominated the virtual world. That means that the Internet Police patrol 253 million web surfers.
  • Offending China online warrants jail time: If you are caught and convicted of offending China and the government, you may be sent to jail.
  • Yahoo! indirectly aided in the arrest of a Chinese journalist: In April 2007, the World Organization for Human Rightssued Yahoo! for "willingly" supplying the Chinese government with the personal information and e-mail addresses for a Chinese journalist and "cyber dissident." The government used that information to arrest both individuals, and Yahoo! was widely criticized for their cooperation in the event, even by the U.S. Congress.
  • Even U.S. companies have to comply with China’s rules: U.S. Internet companies like Yahoo! and Google make their services available all over the world, but in China, those services are restricted. Just recently, the Chinese government restricted access to Google altogether "after a government representative accused [Google] of spreading pornography," reports PC World
  • Fines are issued as punishment: If an individual is found guilty of publishing offensive content on the web, such as "defaming" the government, they could be forced to pay a fine of up to $1800.
  • Amnesty International battle: China routinely blocks access to the website for Amnesty International, which criticizes China for imprisoning so many journalists each year. The site was also blocked during the 2008 Olympic Games, but the restriction was temporarily lifted after international journalists complained.
  • There’s no Twitter in China: Twitter is very often blocked in China, so don’t get your hopes up for tweeting action when you study abroad there.
  • YouTube and Flickr are often blocked: Sometimes these two media sharing sites are blocked completely, and other times, they’re just heavily restricted.
  • There’s no Twitter in China: Twitter is very often blocked in China, so don’t get your hopes up for tweeting action when you study abroad there.
  • Restriction is lifted when the issues garner international attention: When there is a strong international interest in the Chinese censorship issue, certain sites are allowed to be visited, like during the Summer 2008 Olympics and during an international summit in Shanghai.
  • Falun Gong censorship: The Chinese spiritual group Falun Gong is one of the most widespread censorship targets in the country. It is a practice steeped in principles of morality and supposedly rose after the Maoist revolution. The group staged a silent protest in 1999 against an incident of beatings and arrests in 1999, and China has censored and abused them since.
  • Search engines are filtered: There is an effort on behalf of China to eliminate certain words from search engines like Yahoo! and Baidu.
  • The pun that got through: Bloggers around the world laughed when a "dirty pun" leaked through China’s censorship restrictions. A song about a grass-mud horse sprang up to poke fun at the censorship because the Chinese word for "grass-mud horse" sounds very similar to an obscenity that otherwise would have been blocked.
  • University access blocked: Some online university systems have been blocked since 2004, making it impossible for students at schools like George Washington University to access assignments and notes from China.
  • Rogue ways of getting past censorship: Some savvy Chinese citizens intent on getting past censored sites have created applications with names like Gollum and picidae to get past servers and browse pages as images.
  • Blogger blogs are often blocked: During the Summer 2008 Olympics, bloggers who used the Blogger platform found that their sites were blocked in China.
  • Only "healthy" news is allowed: Timereports that the Chinese government only allows "healthy" news to be reported on the Internet.
  • iTunes was blocked during the 2008 Olympics: Wikipedia reports that after athletes downloaded a pro-Tibetan song from iTunes during the Olympics in 2008, China blocked iTunes.
  • Even outbound links are restricted: In 2000, China passed a law that forbids China websites to link to outside news websites — or even reference news reported by outside news sites — without getting approval from the government.
  • The Tiananmen Square anniversary was heavily censored: The 20th anniversary for one of Chinese history’s darkest days — Tinanmen Square — was censored all over the Internet. Comment boards were shut down by companies afraid of being prosecuted for encouraging discussion about the massacre, and Twitter was shut down.
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Edit :-source onlinecollege.org

Charlie Zeng

Charlie Zeng, B.A. Japanese, Beijing Foreign Studies University

Mise à jour il y a 295w

The most interesting is that, we the people in China, don't have the thing called Internet while we all do something as if we had it.
We have weibo while twittter is banned;we have renren while Facebook is blocked;we have Baidu while Google is out; we struggle to use gmail in pain while enduring the terrible experience of mailbox from ISP to receive badly-designed bills ...and most of the people are quite happy that we have a network which belongs to us only.

We don't have official kindle or nexus, and we can't use paypal or Google wallet. It's hard to buy things from foreign countries.Even now I am answering, sometimes Ihave to use proxy agent to send my message.

We see it as a place to throw rubbish everywhere instead of a place to live and meet different people;we see it as a place to get everything for free while giving nothing instead of a place to share and create;we see it as a place to get rid of the reality instead of a place to know the real world...
I shall say, there's no “Internet ” in China, only LAN.
----------------------------update 2013.2.22,GMT+8:00------------------
I'm surprised to see this answer has got so many votes, if it can be called many.
I should permit that when I was writing this answer, I was radical and aggressive. All those above are true, or were, but things are changing as well as knowing and understanding.
The reality is that when we use phones we find it easier to have access to some sites blocked when browsed on PC, for example, Google Plus, Google Currents, or even Google Drive.
And it's also a fact that many stupid Chinese are not polite when browsing foreign sites. As an example, when the GFW gave up blocking niconico(an anime website), thousands of Chinese logged in, printing slogans like "Diaoyu island is of China",in Chinese, while there was an aera for politics. From this I even reach a conclusion that GFW, to some extent, is valuable.
It's very interesting. It's very interesting that the barrier should be kept, for others' interests. The GFW rarely block sites with foreign languages, such as BBC while the Chinese version is blocked. Because, I guess, the majority are too stupid to understand what the facts are.
It's also clear that the government may not care what you are reading. It just cares whether you are stupid or silent as it expects.

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Karan Aggarwal

Karan Aggarwal, studied at Spring Dale Senior School

Répondu il y a 123w

China’s Internet speeds are a common subject of griping among those with online experience overseas. The Internet here can often be painfully slow. It is not easy to get a decent Internet connection in China. Even more unfortunately, many websites are officially blocked. So if you are going to China, you’d better be prepared for it.
According to Akamai, in the third quarter of 2014 China ranked 10th in the Asia-Pacic region for fastest internet speeds, with an average of about 3.8 Mbps. Average speed on mobile in China is 6.2 Mbps, with peak speeds at 16.7 Mbps.

Why is the Internet so slow in China?

China is a big country with the world’s largest internet population (632 million), and many of China’s areas are still underdeveloped, so it’s difficult and costly to build a sophisticated network at that scale. China is now facing challenges in upgrading its relevant infrastructure.
In China there is an ISP monopoly consisting of three major telecom carriers: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. With no competition, they have little incentive to strengthen the network construction. And it has led to inflated prices. According to Akamai, users in China spend around 83 yuan (US$13.29) a month on average to get online.
Another cause of slow internet connection is the Great Firewall of China. The Great Firewall slows the internet down considerably. Due to its security measures, you will have slow internet speed when accessing international sites even though the sites are not blocked.


Julien, Lived in China for 10 years.

Mise à jour il y a 235w

Based on my readings and what I heard at conferences:

There are more people on the internet in China than people living in the United States. Still that represents only 1/3 of the country entire population.

Most people first experience with the internet is on a mobile phone.

Internet is heavily censored and monitored. That is the Great Firewall.

There are few (any?) consumer association, therefore consumers tend to use more SNS to relate to their product experiences.

As soon as a given online business is profitable/viable, lots of copycats appear. (Groupon-like websites are the perfect example)

The Chinese ebay+paypal+amazon is way ahead of its US counterpart in terms of numbers of consumers, innovation and reach.

Nobody makes money on the Android market in China. No official Google Play here. Lots of non-official market app (~70). Some really big and backed with good VC.

Michael Wei

Michael Wei, Big picture person

Répondu il y a 275w

This TED talk by Michael Anti paints a great picture.
One interesting story he shared was netizens coming up with homonyms and puns to get around censorship, e.g. xiè (River Crab) = xié (harmonization, aka censorship).

Michael Anti: Behind the Great Firewall of China

Mike Lee

Mike Lee, American expatriate in China

Répondu il y a 233w

It's really slow. Frustratingly, at times.

"The Chinese mainland's average Internet speed in the second quarter of this year was 1.5 Megabytes per second, 98th among more than 200 countries and regions and significantly lower than the global average of 2.6 Megabytes per second." - ChinaDaily, August 2013.

Here in Shanghai, the average Internet speed is 5.4 Megabytes per second, per Tech en Asie. That's the fastest internet speed on average of any city in China.

Stefan Thorpe

Stefan Thorpe, studied at Amazon Web Services

Répondu il y a 255w

Mobile Internet in china in massive the percentages of mobile phones vs desktop are far high than compared to that of the US.

Check Out my infographic on Internet Usage in China China Internet Market Infographic Q3 2013

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