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Digital China

China is today one of the most networked societies in the world with the largest number of Internet users and the biggest mobile phone market.

By the end of 2013, 618 million Chinese people, i.e. 45.8 per cent of the population, now has access to the Internet. China has also embarked on an extensive strategy of informatization, applying information and communication technologies (ICT) in different realms, including governance, education, communication and media, as well as economic development and commerce, while exercising strict control and censorship. How should we understand the Chinese puzzle, where rapid informatization, digitization and innovation in ICTs are the result of both heavy state investment and rapid market developments that co-exist with censorship and lack of freedom of expression?

This inter-disciplinary project aims to unpack the many dimensions and paradoxes of networked authoritarianism and the impact of ICTs on Chinese society. Our premise is a socio-constructivist understanding of technological developments that emphasize social processes, power relations, and agency among ICT producers, regulators, and users. ICT development, in other words, is not a zero-sum game, but the state and society can be empowered in different areas, to different extents, and with different consequences. The project studies the complex negotiations that take place between individuals, different groups of people, companies, and the Chinese state at different levels and in different areas, the processes through which ICTs are developed and embedded into society, how both domestic and global forces are shaping the development of ICTs in China, and how and to what extent ICTs in their turn are shaping the Chinese society and the state, as well as state-society relations.

The project members come from different disciplines and will study different areas within their expertise, such as education, the economy, media and communication, governance, and ICT industries.This project runs 2013-2017 and is funded by the the Swedish Research Council.

The project has a blog where we share information about recent developments, present our research and publications, and inform about our activities and workshops.

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Digital China blog

The feed below is from the Digital China blog.

Nature in Chinese digital games for children

2017-11-09
At the second conference of the European Association of Art History in Zürich, 24-27 August 2017, I presented some findings from my ongoing …

Fairy tale transformations in the Chinese internet and the representation of women and girls

2017-11-09
Ever since childhood I loved fairy tales and I still do so now. But only about a year ago I started searching for Chinese fairy tales online…

affiliated researcher

Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies
Lund University
Sölvegatan 18B, 223 62 Lund
Sweden

Phone: +46 46 222 38 61
E-mail: info [at] ace [dot] lu [dot] se