In China, a whole generation of people who don’t know Google and FacebookCorrespondent for The New York Times Li Yun described the contemporary Chinese youth – the generation that grew up during the censorship of Western Internet media and services, writes the Chronicle.info with reference to Mediavektor
Now they, literally, to the alternative network, different from the world. Edition AIN.UA results in an adapted translation of the material. Yun shows the differences between the West and China on the example of 18-year-old vey of Dianga. A teenager from the South China city of Liuzhou carries basketball, listening to hip hop and watching Hollywood movies about superheroes. The main difference is Diong never heard of Google or Twitter.
Even the mention of Facebook, met him only once. Such as Ding – even a whole generation. Over the last decade, the Chinese government blocked Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and thousands of other resources, including The New York Times and even Wikipedia. Their place was taken by Chinese counterparts who pass through a strict censorship.
Accustomed to local applications and services, many do not Express interest to what is blocked on the network. This allows Beijing to build an alternative system of values opposed to Western liberal democracy. Yun feared that the trend is gaining popularity in China started to “export” its model of control over the Internet in countries like Vietnam, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
This outcome is directly contrary to what was thought in the West about the Internet in the early 2000s. Then President bill Clinton claimed that the popularity of the network will make China a more open society like the United States. “In the new century, liberty will spread by cell phone and cable modem”, assured the politician. It happened differently. Now, foreign Internet giants access to the huge Chinese market seems increasingly distant dream. Under the leadership of XI Jinping’s Communist party has strengthened the ideological control over the network. Only the first half of 2018, a local Internet regulator has revoked the licenses or shut down more than 3,000 sites.
Despite this, American companies are trying – though not very successful. Google, according to rumors, creates a censored version of the search application. Last month Facebook received a permit to conduct activities in Zhejiang province. The social network talked about plans to open the country’s innovation hub, but the authorities quickly backtracked. Yun notes that even if the Western services will be able to infiltrate China, they may not meet the interest of users. He cites a study conducted by Stanford and Beijing universities. Within it 1000 Chinese students from two universities in Beijing have given the tools to bypass locks and censorship. About half did not use them. Of those who used them did not find the visitors of Western news sites that are blocked in China.
In conclusion, it was stated that Chinese censorship is particularly effective because it “creates the conditions in which people do not need the forbidden information”. Even among those born in the 80s, the mood was different. Yun gives the example of Khan Khan – blogger, which has garnered 40 million followers on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) and sold millions of copies of their books, challenging the device of the Chinese political system and criticizing traditional values. Among the current 20-year-old no such people. However, the Khan no longer looks like himself on Weibo, he now mostly posts about your business. Others prefer services like Baidu, WeChat or platform to create a short video TikTok.
Users exude optimism. According to a survey of 10 000 users conducted by company Tencent, about every 8 out of 10 Chinese believe is now their country is experiencing the best time or day moving forward. About the same percentage of people stated a positive view on their future. Yun illustrates it by examples. 28-year-old Shen Yan’an works for the website real estate and lives in a three million city near Beijing. She believes that China is a great country and ready to do everything to make her stronger.
Every night Shen watching South Korean soap operas. News applications it does not have – a girl says not interested in politics. Its interaction with the locked services were limited to using Google Maps while traveling in Japan. Blocked sites she visits: “In the Chinese application has everything you need”. Her friend Chu junkin spends the evening to watch a short video in TikTok. Sometimes she reads the news on the portal Jinri Toutiao and discovers how many countries around immersed in war and rebellion. Chu believes: “China is a much better place.” 14-year-old Ven Changan wants to be a rapper. He idolizes Drake and Kanye West. Guy surprised that the artists loudly declare social problems and did not hesitate to criticize the President. In China this would have enabled, I’m sure the teenager – because it is a developing country that needs the social stability. It is the repetition of these words in textbooks and the media, says Yun, is seeking Communist party. Chenghan know about the existence of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A friend of his father told him that the services have been blocked due to a mismatch of content “the development of Chinese socialism.”
The guy says, “they [apps] are not necessary.” But when the young Chinese travel abroad, they have to settle in an entirely new online ecosystem. 23-year-old Perry Feng, who two years ago moved from China to study in Sydney, Australia, discovered many new sites. Returning home for the holidays, it is difficult to wean from the use of Google. Also Feng unlearn to read political news in the presence of parents – they blamed him.
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