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Technical standards, social standards, Chinese controlled Internet


International audience Technical norms, social norms, the chinese internet under contrololivier arifon 1, * 1 : resic (resic)* : auteur correspondantWith internet, the Chinese's government is coherent with its global project for the country. Since 1995, it has recommended a use of internet for the society and developed several forms of control. actually, four registers co exists: a technical control, a legal regulation, human measures on civil society and, more complex, a Chinese entrepreneurship solution. Here western enterprises should share the Chinese market with Chinese's competitors, according to a competitive intelligence strategy supported by the State. the article proposes to present theses different aspects. First, it's interesting to compare the western conceptions of internet with the Chinese ones. in the West, it's widely admitted that internet, since its origin until now, rely on liberty of speech, of exchanges, allows development of competencies and access to knowledge, dimensions included in a liberal and socio technical context. in other words, it's a sovereign internet on its own bases (for more details, see the debates of the internet governance Forum). nevertheless, the reality shows the contrary, especially in the year 2012, and governance is still decided and done by the governments. in China, the government has developed an appreciably different discourse. internet is a tool for the economical development of the country and more recently, the Web is presented for its role on increasing living conditions and expectancies. it's a tool, which offers right to know, to participate, and to be heard but strictly according to the rule of law. For a summary of the official opinion, see a sta tement on radio China international (http://french.cri.cn, 18 January 2012). it's a regulated tool within the frontiers, and based upon the national principle of sovereignty. Several dimensions structured the research methodology: survey of web sites in French, english, Chinese, contacts with Chinese and english scholars, conferences and meetings on the topic, specially those done by the three think tanks working on China and asia in Brussels and economic survey on Chinese's enterprises in internet. a chronological survey shows how, technically and practically, the State Council and the ministries involved have installed a four dimensions scheme. - First, we have to consider a technical aspect. topic already well documented and analysed, the control relies on the data's traffic going in and out of the country. Such a solution has received several names: Golden Shield, Great firewall... The monitoring of traffic is possible because the country is connected with only four Backbones for exchanging data's with the rest of the world. More over, there are technical rules imposed by the authorities to the providers and the cybercafés: data's storage, suppression of contents, censorship on a regular updated list of keywords, and registration of users. - a legal aspect: many laws have been promoted, focusing on national security and customs protection... But the observance of Chinese practices on how laws are applied shows that interpretation of these types of laws is very flexible, not to say subjective. - A human measures aspect. newspapers, posters in the public places, statement of official's are common and deals on the same register: defining the "correct" use of the net, in a social and harmonious way, to invite les users to interiorize social limits. In case of someone crossing the line, sometimes hard to measure, the monitoring of email, the hacking or the arrest of activist and dissidents is decided. (January 2012 present clear aspects of this policy). - Finally, there is an industrial dimension, the actual step of the process. the government strongly support the development of national enterprises on the internet Chinese's market. these enterprises are charged to compete directly the western companies on the same technologies and services. Baidu face Google, Yonku, and the platform for video face Youtube, QQ face twitter (who is forbidden) and the social network ren ren faces Facebook. this solution is sometimes called a national intranet. the companies should apply norms and laws promoted by the government, a way to build a sovereign space, with minimal references to western approach of the question on internet governance modalities. Besides, out of the country, the Government support Chinese enterprises and technologies, in the context of its soft power strategy. the state administration tries to shape at its advantage this environment. this communication propose to presents stakes and key points on this question which combine digital technologies with social aspects and international relations. references arifon, o., liU, C. Sautedé, e. (2009), Société civile et internet en Chine et asie orientale, Hermès n° 55, 450 pages. arifon, o. (2006), " la culture stratégique de la Chine, un contexte favorable pour une intelligence économique ", Monde Chinois n°8, pp. 61-72. arsène, Séverine, (2011), internet et politique en Chine, Karthala, 420 pages. Bandurski, D. (2007), "Pulling the Strings of China's internet", Far east economic review, decembre 2007 Baromètre international de la normalisation, (2011), aFnor Calingaert, D. (2010), " authoritarism vs the internet: the race between freedom and oppression ", Policy review 160, april May esarey, a. & Xiao Q. " Below the radar: political expression in the Chinese blogosphere ", asian Survey, 48, n°5, pp. 752-772. Mac Kinnon, r, (2009), "China's censoship 2.0: how compagnies censor bloggers", First Monday, Volume 14, number 2 - 2 February reporters sans Frontières, (2004), Chine, le livre noir, rSF, Paris, pp. 93-101. www.openentinitiative.net, " Internet filtering in China in 2004-2005 ", consulté le 10 novembre 2011.

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