Chinese authorities are wielding facial-recognition software, big-data analytics, and other digital technologies to control China’s citizens by monitoring and assessing their activities, both online and off.
In recent years, Chinese netizens have shown boundless creativity and ingenuity in expressing themselves despite government restrictions on online speech. Will new political discourse give birth to a new political identity? Are new forms of networked communication enhancing opportunities for social change and helping to move China toward a “threshold” for political transformation?
In China, the Internet is not merely contested space between citizen and government. It is also a catalyst for social and political transformation, offering the possibility of better governance with greater citizen participation.