Friday, April 19, 2013

Has China's internet returned to 'normal'? - China Weekly Hangout

Beijing March 2011
Beijing March 2011 (Photo credit: Remko Tanis)
The controls on China's internet have always been a nuisance - especially for those working on international business from China. But during the past months, trouble increased, supposedly because of the power transition from the Hu Jintao to the Xi Jinping team, during the party congress and the March' National People's Congress. In December we even hosted a +China Weekly Hangout   about VPN's, as China's censors seemed to target more actively those workarounds of the censorship.
The frustration grew and the troubled internet connections popped up regularly as one of the reason for people to leave China. Of course, never was the filtered internet the only reason, but for people like internet entrepreneur +Marc van der Chijs it was certainly one.
But Xi Jinping is now in place, the meetings are over, so the question is whether the internet is back to 'normal', as far as China has a normal internet. We are looking for your input.

The +China Weekly Hangout will discuss the current state of China's internet, and we might even speculate on what we can expect in the near future, as loosening media controls, and checks on the internet, does not seem to be on the agenda.
We are looking for people who have on the ground experience with the internet, and can help us to piece together a picture for the near future. Are you interested? You can register to participate at our event page here.
The hangout will be held on Thursday 25 April, 10pm Beijing Time, 4pm CEST (Europe) and 10pm EST (US/Canada)
You can watch the event here, on our event page and on YouTube, if you do not participate directly. Until the event you can send questions and remarks by leaving a comment here, or at our event page. During the event you can leave messages via Twitter, Google+ and our YouTube channel (do add the hash tag #CWHCWH).
For some good background, you can read a special of +The Economist on the internet in China or listen to the Sinica Podcast with auther +Gady Epstein, interviewed by +Kaiser Kuo and +Jeremy Goldkorn.

The previously announced hangout on North Korea has been postponed, as the current crisis seems to have fizzled out a bit. But we are sure we might get new opportunities.

On December 20, 2012 the +China Weekly Hangout discussed the problems with VPN's with +Sam Xu+John R. Otto and +Gabriel Rüeck. Moderation was in the hands of +Fons Tuinstra of the +China Speakers Bureau.

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