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The problems faced by China in devising an online landscape with Chinese characteristics

by Otani, Shuho.

Abstract (Summary)
China has become the second largest internet user in the world. This fact is primarily due to the country’s rapid economic growth, especially in the telecommunication industry, but what does this fact mean? Although the growth of the internet in China can be read as a positive sign, my thesis addresses questions having to do with the development of an online landscape within China. It addresses such issues as whether or not information technologies are a liberating force for democracy in China, or whether or not they have lead to an increase in governmental control; moreover, what is the relationship between information technologies and the current status of the digital divide in China? These questions will be addressed within the thesis. Finally, my thesis explores the unique ways the internet has impacted the development of society and the political economy of China. The Chinese government has long faced big political, economic, and social challenges as a result of the sudden growth of the Internet and telecommunication industry. What does the future hold for a country that lacks a free information market; are the effects of a loosened communication system likely to change China’s political economy, and if so in what ways? My thesis argues that the net results, either positive or negative, of the rapid growth of the Internet industry in China will depend on how fast it can make the transition to a political regime based on the rule of law and limited government. Approved: Don Flournoy Director, Institute for Telecommunications Studies
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Advisor:

School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:internet telecommunication china

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