Recently I’ve been fascinated by the huge amount of media coverage focused on China. It tends to surround it’s ever expanding economy and the fact that the Chinese have enough buying power to rescue the American and European economy – though highly unlikely.
More to the point, as the Chinese economy grows so does the level of internet usage. But with the great Firewall of China – barring western websites and social networks such as YouTube & Twitter – the citizens of the most populous country in the world have had to resort to creating their own platforms to meet their social networking needs. And with over a billion residents it’s no surprise that these new platforms are growing twice as fast as their western predecessors. But is that all there is to it or is there another reason why our East Asian counterparts are so drawn to sharing and communicating with each other via the interwebs.
I came across this infographic today and thought it made some interesting points in regards to this very topic so thought I’d share it.
The two things that stick out for me when looking at this sudden growth is the underlying mistrust of government-controlled media & China’s internet generation of one child families.
It’s incredible to think that in 2010 1 million articles were censored from the Chinese people each day. Without a doubt this is going to impact how the public view the government and the media hence their search to consume content via other channels i.e. from one and other and outsiders.
Also, if there’s any accuracy in the assumption that having no siblings impacts your desire to use social media, then this rapid rate of adoption isn’t likely to slow any time soon as the one-child per family law is set to be in place until 2020 at the least.
So do we think this fast increasing number of social network users is going to have any impact on the actions of the Chinese government or will the Great Firewall stand strong until it is forced down by an Arab spring like movement by the new internet generation? If so how long will it take until the people have had enough? In my opinion the latter is a great risk for the Chinese government as this social media revolution doesn’t show any signs of slowing. Would be interesting to hear your thoughts.
All in all it’s a pretty cool graphic, we picked it up via WallBlog but aren’t sure who designed it. If you’re the barer of this knowledge then please let us know so that we can give them their props.