Gray Area: The Future of Chinese Internet

By Foushee, Hampton | Harvard International Review, Spring 2006 | Go to article overview

Gray Area: The Future of Chinese Internet


Foushee, Hampton, Harvard International Review


Morgan Stanley estimated that there were around 94 million Chinese Internet users at the end of 2004, making China second only to the United States in total numbers of Internet users. The Chinese government has struggled to hide its citizens from a world of instant messaging, blogging, and e-mailing that entails the free global exchange of ideas. For the government, help has come from an unlikely source: Western software and technology firms have stepped up to aid the government in bringing the Internet to China at the expense of personal liberties and free speech. By choosing to aid the Chinese government in hindering free speech and the rights of Chinese citizens, Western computer companies have missed the opportunity to bring great advances to the oppressed Chinese people.

Companies such as Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and Cisco have been vital in the spread of the Internet in China. They have assisted the Chinese government in writing software programs and have provided the basic infrastructure for the expansion of the Internet. Unfortunately, with the help of Western computer companies, the Chinese government has filtered the Internet so that citizens have access only to websites and blogs that either speak highly of communism or do not address politics at all. According to the Berkeley China Internet Project, a program designed to monitor the emergence of the Internet in China, the Chinese government hides websites that contain certain phrases thought to be unfriendly toward its rule, such as freedom, democracy, China-liberal, and falun, a word that refers to the dissident spiritual sect known as the Falun Gong.

The emergence and rapid spread of blogging have posed an even greater challenge to the Chinese government, forcing Beijing to enlist the assistance of Western corporations further in order to smother such a movement. Internet blogs are numerous and hard to track due to their temporary and elusive nature. In the summer of 2005, Microsoft helped to launch MSN Spaces, a blog service that Microsoft filtered in order to eliminate the use of blogs as a medium for political debate and dissent. Bloggers are forbidden to use words considered distasteful by the Chinese government. Any use of such words results in a harsh message: "This topic contains forbidden words. Please delete them."

Possibly the most controversial decision by a US Internet company working in China was Yahoo's decision to turn over personal information to the Chinese government, which led to the imprisonment of a Chinese dissident. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Gray Area: The Future of Chinese Internet
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.