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[liberationtech] Share my paper - Internet companies in China: Dancing between the Party line and the bottom line

Jiang, Min Min.Jiang at
Fri Feb 3 08:46:43 PST 2012

Dear list members,

Thought my paper published recently by the French Institute of International Relations may be of interest to some of you. Comments and criticism are welcome!






With over 500 million Internet users and 900 million mobile-phone subscribers by mid 2011, the Chinese Internet is an enormous market that has produced the spectacular rise of many Chinese Internet companies and attracted substantial foreign investment. This paper argues that, despite a great degree of liberalization of its market over the past 15 years, the Chinese Internet remains authoritarian in nature. Not only did the central government actively shape the infrastructure and rules of China's information superhighways, but recently it has also vigorously built state-controlled Internet companies, including a national search engine.

The paper starts with an overview of the landscape of the Chinese Internet industry, followed by a review of the developmental trajectories of three important search companies in China - Baidu, Google, and Jike (the national search engine), whose stories are illustrative of the experiences of domestic, foreign and state Internet firms operating in China. The paper then outlines the Chinese government's regulatory policies towards the Internet industry, which it is argued have undergone three stages: liberalization, regulation, and state capitalism.


Min Jiang (Ph.D. Purdue), Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Affiliate Faculty, International Studies
Affiliate Researcher, Center for Advanced Research in the Humanities,
Complexity System Institute
5011 Colvard N., UNCC, 9201 University City Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28223
704-687-0768| Min.Jiang at<mailto:Min.Jiang at> | Twitter @mindyjiang

Research Affiliate
Center for Global Communication Studies, University of Pennsylvania

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