Harmonious Online Society: The China Model in the Information Age

  • Sidney Y. Liu


With the Internet’s prevalence growing exponentially during the past decade, cyberspace has increasingly embedded itself in the Chinese society. China’s government has responded in kind. Under the rhetoric of building a harmonious online society, Beijing has constructed a China model to monitor and regulate the Internet to eliminate political challenges posed by the decentralized and borderless technological system. This top-down model of Internet governance is characterized by a dual strategy. First, the government blocks online content and communication that it deems threatening to its rule. Second, the state fights for technical standard-setting and resource reallocation on a global stage under the guise of protecting Internet sovereignty. This dual strategy is increasingly difficult to sustain, however, as shown in the implementation of the Green Dam (lüba) program and the Google dispute. More recently, in the face of criticism and discontent, the Chinese government has switched to a softer approach: interacting with netizens, making its presence felt online, and negotiating with global Internet governance institutions. Meanwhile, at the same time China softens its stance, many developing countries have subscribed to the China model of Internet control to deal with various social and political challenges amplified by the use of the Internet.


Wireless Local Area Network Domain Name System Internet Protocol Address Resource Reallocation Internet Cafe 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Joseph Tse-Hei Lee, Lida V. Nedilsky, and Siu-Keung Cheung 2012

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  • Sidney Y. Liu

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