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In recent years, China has experienced a revolution in information and communications technology (ICT), in 2003 surpassing the USA as the world’s largest telephone market, and as of February 2008, the number of Chinese Internet users has become the largest in the world. At the same time, China has overtaken the USA as the world’s biggest supplier of information technology goods. However, this transformation has occurred against the backdrop of a resolutely authoritarian political system and strict censorship by the Party-state. This book examines China’s ICT revolution, exploring the social, cultural and political implications of China’s transition to a more information-rich and communication-intensive society. The pace of the development of ICT in China has precipitated much speculation about political change and democratisation. This book explores the reality of ICT in China, showing clearly that whilst China remains a one-party state, with an ever-present and sophisticated regime of censorship, substantial social and political changes have taken place. It considers the ICT revolution in all its aspects, outlining the dominant trends, the impact on other countries of China as an ICT exporter, strategies of government censorship and use of ICT for propaganda, the implications of censorship for Chinese governance, the political implications of internet culture and blogging, and the role of domestic and foreign NGOs. Overall, this book is a vital resource for anyone seeking to understand a rapidly transforming China, both today and in the years to come.
Since 1997, China has devoted considerable resources to information and communications technology (ICT) development. China has the world's largest telecommunications market, and its information technology industry has been an engine of economic growth growing two to three times faster than GDP over the past 10 years. E-government initiatives have achieved significant results, and the private sector has increasingly used ICT for production and service processes, internal management, and online transactions. The approaching 10-year mark provides an excellent opportunity to update the policy to reflect the evolving needs of China's economy. These needs include the challenges posed by industrialization, urbanization, upgraded consumption, and social mobility. Developing a more effective ICT strategy will help China to achieve its economic and social goals. Addressing all the critical factors is complex and requires long-term commitment. This book highlights several key issues that need to be addressed decisively in the second half of this decade, through policies entailing institutional reform, to trigger broader changes. This books is the result of 10 months of strategic research by a World Bank team at the request of China's State Council Informatization Office and the Advisory Committee for State Informatization. Drawing on background papers by Chinese researchers, the study provides a variety of domestic perspectives and local case studies and combines these perspectives with international experiences on how similar issues may have been addressed in other countries.
The authors discuss the role of local institutions in coordinating business activities and unleashing entrepreneurship, arguing that the sudden growth of new firms and industries is facilitated by changes in business behaviour and institutions. Initial private exchange and investment in an environment of ill-functioning markets are shown to depend on local networks and local business culture which, in turn, rely on local tax regimes setting incentives for inherited bureaucracies to engage in economic transformation. Finally, the book establishes local institutions and local governance as crucial dimensions of China¿s emerging business system.
An analysis of the problems and possibilities of the information revolution in developing countries, taking into account political, institutional, and cultural dynamics and structures.
Nationalism, in China as much as elsewhere, is today adopted, filtered, transformed, enhanced, and accelerated through digital networks. And as we have increasingly seen, nationalism in digital spheres interacts in complicated ways with nationalism "on the ground". If we are to understand the social and political complexities of the twenty-first century, we need to ask: what happens to nationalism when it goes digital? In China's Digital Nationalism, Florian Schneider explores the issue by looking at digital China first hand, exploring what search engines, online encyclopedias, websites, hyperlink networks, and social media can tell us about the way that different actors construct and manage a crucial topic in contemporary Chinese politics: the protracted historical relationship with neighbouring Japan. Using two cases, the infamous Nanjing Massacre of 1937 and the ongoing disputes over islands in the East China Sea, Schneider shows how various stakeholders in China construct networks and deploy power to shape nationalism for their own ends. These dynamics provide crucial lessons on how nation states adapt to the shifting terrain of the digital age and highlight how digital nationalism is today an emergent property of complex communication networks.
How compatible are the new China and the information age? Will China's economic reforms allow it to join the information revolution, or will it's unique political structure keep it insulated from the main currents of global economic development? This volume considers questions such as these.
This book discusses the issues and steps involved in building a lifelong learning system in China, including: a coherent policy framework, a sound incentive and institutional framework, a sound regulatory environment, a coordinated governance process, a timely and reliable management information system, a dynamic link with the evolving global system, and the optimal use of limited resources.

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