Knowledge, Technology & Policy

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 29–35 | Cite as

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

Original Paper

Abstract

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’.

Keywords

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

References

  1. Caporael, L.R. & Xie, B. (2003). Breaking time and place: mobile technologies and reconstituted identities. In J. Katz (Ed.), Machines that becomes us: the social context of personal communication technology (pp.219–231). New Jersey: Transaction.Google Scholar
  2. Chu, W.C. & Yang, S. (2006). Mobile phones and new migrant workers in a south china village: An initial analysis of the interplay between the “social” and the “technological”. In P.L. Law, L. Fortunati & S. Yang (Eds.), New technologies in global societies (pp.221–244). New Jersey: World Scientific.Google Scholar
  3. Chu, W.C. & Peng, Y. (2005, October). The use of mobile phones with chinese characteristics. Paper presented at Mobile Communication and Asian Modernities II, Beijing, People’s Republic of China.Google Scholar
  4. De Gournay, C. (2002). Pretense of intimacy in France. In Katz, J. E. & Aakhus M. (Eds.), Perpetual contact: Mobile communication, private talk, public performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp.193–205.Google Scholar
  5. Fei, X. (1992). From the soil: The foundations of Chinese society. California: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Fortunati, L. (2002). Italy: Stereotypes, true and false. In Katz, J. E. & Aakhus M. (Eds.) Perpetual contact: Mobile communication, private talk, public performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp.42–62.Google Scholar
  7. Gergen, K.J. (2002). The challenge of absent presence. In Katz, J. E. & Aakhus M. (Eds.) Perpetual contact: Mobile communication, private talk, public performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp.227–241.Google Scholar
  8. Giddens, A. (1990). The consequences of modernity. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  9. Harwit, E. & Clark, D. (2001). Shaping the internet in china: Evolution of political control over network infrastructure and content. Asian Survey, 41, 377–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hu, H. (1944). The chinese concept of ‘face’. American Anthropologist, 46, 1, 45–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. King, Y. (1985). The individual and group in confucianism: A relational perspective. In D.Munro (Ed.), Individualism and holism: Studies in confucian and taoist values. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan. Pp.57–70.Google Scholar
  12. Kopomaa, T. (2000). The city in your pocket–birth of the mobile information society. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Law, P. & Peng, Y. (2006). The use of mobile phones among migrant workers in southern china, In New technologies in global societies. New Jersey: World Scientific. Pp.245–258Google Scholar
  14. Licoppe, C. & Heurtin, J. (2002). France: preserving the image. In Katz, J. E. & Aakhus M. (Eds.) Perpetual contact: Mobile communication, private talk, public performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp.94–109Google Scholar
  15. Pertierra, R. (2002). Txt-ing selves: cell phones and Philippine modernity. Manila: De La Salle University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Potter, S.H. & Potter, J.M. (1990). China’s Peasants: the Anthropology of a Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Puro, J.-P. (2002). Finland: a mobile culture. In Katz, J. E. & Aakhus M. (Eds.) Perpetual contact: mobile communication, private talk, public performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp.19–29Google Scholar
  18. Wellman, B. (2001) Physical place and cyber place: the rise of personalized networking. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 25, 227–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Whitman, C. (1985) Privacy in confucian and taoist Thought.’ In D. Munro (Ed.), Individualism and holism: studies in confucian and taoist Values. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan.Pp. 85–100Google Scholar
  20. Yang, G. (2003a). The internet and civil society in china: a preliminary assessment’. Journal of Contemporary China, 12, 453–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Yang, G. (2003b). The co-evolution of the internet and civil society in China. Asian Survey, 43, 405–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Yang, S. & Song, J. (2004, October). College students’ self-positioning and the cell-phone consumption. Paper presented at Mobile Communication and Social Change, Seoul, Korea.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Social SciencesThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung HomHong Kong

Personalised recommendations