Saturday 16 Oct 2021 | 18:11 | SYDNEY
Saturday 16 Oct 2021 | 18:11 | SYDNEY

Understanding China netizens


Sam Roggeveen


22 September 2009 14:01

Kaiser Kuo is an American residing in Beijing who is prominent on the local journalism, technology and music scenes — he's quite the renaissance man, in fact. He is also an extremely sharp observer of China's online culture, and there's a short interview with him here about the political implications of what is now a 338 million-strong community.

I don't think we in the West fully appreciate how important the online world has become in China's political development, but Kuo makes it clear that the Government watches very closely for signs of shifting opinion, particularly on domestic issues (but also foreign policy, as Claudia He showed in her post about Chinese views of North Korea).

Australia's peak intelligence agency, the Office of National Assessments, recently held a roundtable to get advice from outside experts about how it could better exploit 'open-source intelligence'. Recruiting specialists who understand and can navigate China's vast online political conversation should be on ONA's agenda.

Photo by Flickr user Kai Hendry, used under a Creative Commons license.