“Behind the Great Firewall of China”

…is a TED talk by Michael Anti (aka Jing Zhao), a key figure in China’s new journalism. He explores the growing power of the Chinese Internet through blogging stating ‘China is complicated…it is a BRIC country (Brazil, Russia, India and China), emerging economies which rival the world economies….China is also a SICK country (Syria, Iran, China and North Korea), terminology coined by Facebook IPO papers as the four countries with no access to Facebook…therefore China is a SICK BRIC country.’ He goes on to talk about his personal observations from the last 12 years of his blogging career, ‘China has the biggest digital boundary in the world…the Internet has two “Internets”, one is the Internet, the other is Chinanet….The cat and mouse game is used as a metaphor to describe the last 15 years of the continuous fight between the government censorship, the cat and the Chinese Internet users, the mice…perhaps this is too simple so I want to upgrade to a 2.0 version for the 500 million Internet users, the biggest population of netizens in the world.’ He them speaks of the Chinese Internet policy of ‘to block and clone’…Google-Baidu, Twitter-Weibo, Facebook-Renren, Youtube-Tudou and Youku. He spoke of Chinese social media becoming a public sphere as there are over 300 million microbloggers in China, the entire population of the USA…’very powerful energy…regarded as a media not a headline to a media.’

“It is like a training of their citizenship for their future democracy.” – Michael Anti (Jing Zhao)

Despite the control the central Chinese government has over the Internet, he states ‘all the servers are in Beijing’ and that the hundreds of millions of microbloggers are creating the first national public sphere in the country’s history, shifting the balance of power in unexpected ways.

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