An Initial Study of Internet Development in Chinese Mainland


Shao-Ti Yu, Jia-Cheng Chen, Yung-Fong Lin


This paper first introduced baseline functions of Internet as a new mass media. A historical review of Internet development in Chinese mainland was presented which included a number of major Internet-related projects. To give background infromation of social applications of Internet, the status quo of Internet laws and regulations was briefed. The following issues were addressed to examine current impacts of Internet deployment:

1. Transborder Data Flow

2. Democratic Participation

3. Information Gap

4. Social Control

5. International Propaganda

As a new media, Internet in Chinese mainland faces various challenges. In addition to meet requirements of baseline computer resources and telecommunication network deployment, it has to deal with the traditional sentiment of Chinese government that mass media should be served as the national propaganda machine. It is thus our conclusion that, even with the urgent requests of information exchange for economic reforms and academic reserach, the acquisition of Internet will remain to be applicable for the social elite of major metropolitan cities in the near future.