Original Paper

Knowledge, Technology & Policy

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 29-35

First online:

The Dynamics of Cyber China: The Characteristics of Chinese ICT Use

  • Wai-chi Rodney ChuAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Email author 

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This paper provides a preliminary examination of the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs)—limited to mobile phone and internet use—in contemporary China. Based on fieldwork undertaken since 2003 in Guangzhou and Beijing, the paper focuses on the relationship between society and technology in the Chinese cultural context. An analysis of the data on ICT use in China shows how Chinese cultural traits and the speed of the ICT evolution in China have combined to bring about a unique cyber experience. This analysis may be helpful to other scholars who wish to compare the impact of ICTs in various cultures or who are interested in discovering how Mainland China went ‘cyber’.


Cyber China Chinese culture in cyberspace Digital divide Compressed modernity Public/private sphere