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Internet in China

The Internet has become pervasive in the People's Republic of China with universal public dialup access available in most cities. The price of computers places it well within the reach of the Chinese middle class.

Much of the attention in the West has been placed on the interaction between the Internet and the authoritarian Communist Party of China. Early predictions that the Internet would bring the collapse of the party have proved unfounded.

The Chinese government does block access to certain sites by IP address in which has been called the Great Firewall of China. These blocks are easily circumvented and are generally ineffective at preventing external news from entering the country.

More effective have been Chinese government efforts to prevent the use of the internet to organize. Several web operators within China have been given stiff sentences.

The Internet has also created an extensive blog and chat community. Internet content providers in China generally have a company moderator known as big mama who monitor newsgroups and chat rooms for senitive content and deletes them.

The Internet has also provided some interesting tactics for the disemination of news. In contrast to some early fears that the fluidity of web content would make it easy to rewrite history and strengthen the hand of the government, the opposite appears true. One common tactic in publishing senstive topics is to post the article on a newspaper website, and then comply with government orders to take it down. By the time the article is removed, people will have read it negating the point of the censorship order.

See also: Media in China



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