China’s Perspectives on the Development of IT
With the rapid development of private computer (PC), digital communication apparatus and Internet, information technology (IT) has infiltrated into almost all the aspects of social life. Information technology is broadly and loosely defined as “technology involved in acquiring, storing, processing and distributing information by electronic means (including radio, television, telephone, and computers).”(Collin 2002, 194) UNESCO extends this concept to encompass “computers and their interaction with people and machines, and associated social, economic and cultural matters.”(Gupta 2007) Thus IT development involves technology concerning information on the one hand, and its humane and social influences on the other. In China, the past decade has witnessed a rapidinformatization with a top down, state-led pattern and a campaign style, which enabled China to emerge as a leading player with the most seductive market in the worldwide waves of IT. However, as a double edged sword, IT development in China has also contributed to the growth of “an increasingly wired society” (Cheng 2005, 45) which, together with the dynamic IT market, inversely influences the government’s policies and behaviors within and beyond the latitude of IT. (Cheng 2005, Lagerkvist 2005, Zheng 2005). Therefore, the Chinese government faces a dilemma between economic prosperity with the benefit of IT and threats brought by IT development to the regime survival and stability. The future development of IT in China to a certain extent may depend on the multilateral interactions and cooperations among government, market and society rather than the unidirectional motivation from top state leaders to the market or to the society.The purpose of this paper is to examine the feature of IT development in China over the past decade as well as the challenges faced by the Chinese government. Through analyzing the current issues and problems in IT development, this paper tries to present a Chinese perspective on the issue and the possible response from the government in the future.
KeywordsInformation Technology Chinese Government Regulatory Framework Code Division Multiple Access Telecommunication Operator
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