Not authoritarian rule but solid support from China’s citizens allowed its government to beat the Covid-19 and effectively deal with the coronavirus crisis, argues Singapore-based journalist Ian Johnson, in the New York Review of Books. He uses the Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City by Fang Fang, to show the government did not silence critics but did win majority support by its people, helped by indeed heavily manipulated media in China.
China watcher Kaiser Kuo discusses Western narratives on China’s rise. Technology did not beat authoritarian regimes, he explains, just as other Western views on China were profoundly wrong. The Arab Spring uprising was the first sign technology did not bring repression down, but not the last one, he argues.
Journalist and academic Ian Johnson reviews a documentary of artist Ai Weiwei with hidden footage of the coronavirus crisis in Wuhan for Plataformamedia. “The public needs to understand that this film is about China,” Weiwei said in a telephone interview with Ian Johnson. “Yes, it is about the coronavirus lockdown, but it is an effort to reflect what ordinary Chinese have experienced.”
TikTok has already decided to leave Hong Kong and other Western social media like Facebook and Google are trying to figure out what to do after China introduced its national security law to Hong Kong and they might have to cooperate with local police. Business analyst Shaun Rein suggests they would better off leaving Hong Kong altogether, in the South China Morning Post.
Content-providers have been trying to lower costs for the notorious censorship in China, for example by introducing more AI-driven tools. But the government is fearing too much unwanted content if falling through the cracks, asks for tougher censorship, adding dramatically to the costs, says business analyst Ben Cavender to MSN.
The successful social platform Tiktok got into hot water when it comes to its relation with China, now the company goes international. Former Baidu communication director Kaiser Kuo looks at The Ringer how Tiktok thrived, like others, in this climate of uncertainty, fuzziness and unpredictability that is key for China’s internet.
Journalist Ian Johnson, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, is working on his next book documenting how writers, thinkers, and artists are dealing with the new, more repressive policies in China. He visited citizen journalist Zhang Shihe near Xi’an for an extensive interview. First, he describes Zhang’s position for the New York Review of Books.
State TV has been pulling a set of historical dramas from their channels because they were having a negative influence on their audiences, according to state media. Journalist Zhang Lijia, the author of Lotus, a novel, a bestseller on prostitution in China, understands the ratio behind this action, she tells in the South China Morning Post.
Google’s effort to enter China’s censored search market has failed a second time, first in China itself, now because of opposition in the US and Google staff. Former communication director Kaiser Kuo at China’s leading search engine Baidu looks back at how the internet company failed at its first move back in 2006, for the MIT Technology Review.