Jeremy Goldkorn
Jeremy Goldkorn

The famous film director Zhang Yimou was one of the last celebrities, scrutinized by a diligent internet for supposed breaches of the one-child policy. Chinese turn to the internet for real and imaginary injustice, explains internet watcher Jeremy Goldkorn in Marketplace. “It’s a kind of Kangaroo Court mentality.”


The first indication that Zhang had broken China’s one-child policy reportedly came last year, when an actress who failed an audition for Zhang’s last film posted the information on the Internet. Chinese social media observer Jeremy Goldkorn says turning to the Internet for justice — or revenge — has become common in China.

“The Internet generally is really the only place that Chinese people can turn to if they feel they were victims of an injustice or if they feel the government is doing something wrong,” says Goldkorn, “but there is a negative side to it. There is a sort of vigilantism that can be very nasty. It’s a kind of Kangaroo Court mentality.”

More in Marketplace.

Jeremy Goldkorn is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

China Weekly Hangout:

Next week the China Weekly Hangout will focus on the changes in China’s labor force, with Dee Lee of the NGO Inno in Guangzhou, running since 2007 a workers’ hotline. You can read our initial announcement here, or register directly for the event here.

China has no shortage of injustice to discuss. The China Weekly Hangout discussed food security and dead pigs in Shanghai’s Huangpu river earlier this year with sustainability expert Richard Brubaker, Andrew Hupert and Chris Brown on food security and how the ongoing problems will lead to massive food inflation. In the end we (both in China and outside) will have to pay the price for safe food. Moderation: Fons Tuinstra of the China Speakers Bureau.

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