Editor note: below is a translation of Beijing News' interview with Hu Yong, a Beijing University Professor, on the potential of micro-blogging in political engagement in China.
The potential of Microblogging to become a milestone
If the BBS was the first milestone, then microblogging certainly has the potential to become the second. The meaning behind the microblog becoming a milestone, is in the way it spreads information.
BJ News: You have long been concerned about the development of the Internet; how do you view this emerging microblogging communication tool?
Google's official announcement regarding its new approach to China has been escalated to the diplomatic exchange between Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese officials, who denied any role in the attacks.
Although the decision may be business in nature, Google's market share in China is not big while there are more and more political risks in keeping their business in China. The 10 years sentence of mainland Chinese journalist Shi Tao is the most well known case in which Yahoo! (Hong Kong) provided the Chinese government with Shi's email information as evidence for the prosecution.
The campaign against the proliferation of pornography on mobile devices as outlined by the MIIT official document has entered the second stage in early 2010. According toXinhuanet's report in mid Jan, Mobile China Shanghai branch will start suspending a mobile phone's SMS function if they find the number distribute “vulgar”, “pornographic” and other illegal content. Mobile China Beijing also claimed that they would suspend a mobile phone's SMS function if they find a mobile number distributing "vulgar" and illegal content in a massive scale. Apart from Mobile China, the second largest telecom China Unicom also set up similar filter system.
The monitoring of mobile SMS has not only invaded citizen' private life but also set up an infrastructure to crack down social mobilization via mobile phone. In the past few years, mobile phone SMS has played a significant role in a number of mass incidents, such as the Xiamen anti-PX demonstration in 2007, the anti-maglev train strolls in Shanghai in 2009 and the recent protest against the Trash-to-energy incineration plant in Panyu.
Author/Poon Ka Wai
Recently, I have been concerned with the news about some civic organizations repressed by the authority. What is involved is the China government's restricting the registration of civic organizations and receiving foreign sponsorship. I have some knowledge about the mainland churches who have been pushed by the government to "register". Both civic organization and churche are a part of "civil society". Here I would like share my views regarding these problems.
Hong Kong's media self-censorship has suddenly become the talk of the town in this summer.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the June 4 massacre, the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement, which is an incident enormously changing the political path of Hong Kong and Mainland China. It is natural for many local media to widely cover this issue, particularly after some pro-Beijing figures came out to defend the repression of student movement. Yet the largest local TV station, Television Broadcast Limited Hong Kong (TVB), is an exception. Some netizens accused it of down-playing all related issues in its daily news report and program.