Shaping the Internet in China: Evolution of Political Control

Date and Time

November 3, 2000 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


Okimoto Conference Room, Encina Hall, East Wing, Third Floor

Internet use in China has recently grown at a tremendous pace, and today there are more than 17 million users. In this talk, Harwit examines government control over the physical data pipelines and network content. He explores the management and revenue flows from the information highway, and political efforts to regulate the content that appears on Chinese computer screens. He also analyzes the post-WTO role foreign companies may have in the network's future development. He concludes that, though the telecommunications bureaucracy is keen to extract monetary profit from the Internet, political drive for control over content is muted by schizophrenic government policy, user self-censorship and, in the short run, user demographics. Eric Harwit is an Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii, and a visiting scholar at Stanford's Asia / Pacific Research Center for the 2000-2001 academic year. A 1984 graduate of Cornell University, he received a diploma from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing in 1990, and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992. Professor Harwit is the author of China's Automobile Industry (M.E. Sharpe, 1995), and several other articles on industrial and economic development in Asia. He is currently writing a book about the politics of telecommunication in China, and has a Fulbright research grant to conduct a study of telecommunications in rural China in mid-2001.

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