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Crowdsourced "Danger Maps" Track Air, Soil and Water Pollution in China

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, June 14 2013

Sunset in the smog, Shanghai, China (Suicup/Wikipedia)

Chinese citizens are exposing sources of pollution and other environmental problems by contributing to the partially crowdsourced website 'Danger Maps'. So far, the Chinese government is letting them get away with it.

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Beijing Health Department Shuts Down Online Consumer Health Service

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 29 2013

Long lines for health services worse than rush hour traffic in Beijing via Wikipedia

The Beijing Health Department shut down an online medical appointment booking service only three days after it launched. The service had the potential to reduce waits and save patients exorbitant scalper fees. The Health Department claimed that the service misled patients and put their personal information at risk, but the department operates an online reservation service of its own and the new website, by the massive e-commerce site Taobao, threatened that service.

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Chinese Netizens Use Digital Initiative to Gain Media Attention for Unsolved Poisoning Case

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 15 2013

Screen shot of the signatures on the Chinese netizens' petition to the Obama administration

Last month a medical science student at a Shanghai university died from poisoning, allegedly murdered by his roommate. The specifics of the crime echoed a case from the mid-1990s, in which a 19-year-old student was poisoned with thallium. That case has once again been thrown into the media spotlight, but after 18 years the media has changed and the spotlight means a trending hashtag on Sina Weibo or an online petition to the U.S. President.

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How to Jump the Great Firewall of China (UPDATED)

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 8 2013

The Great Wall of China via Wikipedia

As the Chinese government's censorship tools becomes increasingly refined, Internet users have learned to circumvent the Great Firewall. Their primary circumvention technique is to use the same networks as government agencies and major businesses. Read More

China Says Video Game Allowing Players to Shoot U.S. Troops Instills Patriotic Values

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, April 5 2013

Screenshot from CCTV report about Glorious Mission video game.

The video game Glorious Mission, designed for and by the Chinese military, was initially meant as a training aid for soldiers. Released to the public a few months ago, it has already been downloaded over a million times.The BBC reports that the video game is China's newest propagandatool, and cites army sources who agree Glorious Mission was made "available to the wider order to instill patriotic values, the core values of the military." Read More


China Gets an Apology from Apple

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, April 1 2013

Apple CEO Tim Cook's Chinese-language apology to consumers (screengrab).

In response to an aggressive Chinese media campaign that denounced their iPhone warranty policy last month, Apple has issued an apology to consumers.  Official state broadcasts reported that Chinese customers seeking to replace damaged phones were given second-hand devices, a practice that does not exist in European or American markets. 

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How Open Is China's Homegrown "Open-Source" Initiative?

BY David Eaves | Friday, March 29 2013

China is not the first emerging power to see open source as a way to enhance its autonomy and diminish the leverage of foreign stakeholders. Brazil has which began to aggressively invest in and implement open source solutions around 2003, also saw it as a strategic choice. Yes, reducing software costs of government played a role, but it too wanted to boost the develop its IT sector - which it sees as being strategically important - as well as reduce its dependency on American software companies. The question of course, is how effective will these strategies be? Read More


The Chinese Government is Running A Smear Campaign Against Apple

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, March 25 2013

Apple is luring students into high-interest loans: screenshot from a news story from Xinhua/The China Daily last week.

Foxconn, the corporation that operates massive manufacturing plants for American-branded gadgets in China, reported a 16 percent profit increase for 2012 today, raising hopes that working conditions and wages will see more improvement for 1.2 million employees.  Apple, proprietor of iPhones and iPads and perhaps Foxconn’s best-known client internationally, has been at the center of a Chinese media firestorm over the past two weeks.  Yet the focus of accusations against Apple hasn’t been the people working the factory floors.  State media has now taken up arms against the company’s mistreatment of Chinese consumers.

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Cyberwarfare's "Cuban Missile Crisis" Moment

BY David Eaves | Tuesday, March 12 2013

It's as if we've entered the Guns of August or Cuban Missile Crisis stage of cyberwarfare — a period where no one knows what act will generate a response, and so acts will keep escalating until a crisis demonstrates what the boundary will be. Read More


On Social Media, Chinese Citizens Challenge Officials to Swim in Polluted Rivers

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, February 21 2013

A riverbank in Puning, China (Wikimedia Commons).

When the smog crisis in China escalated last month, even the tight-lipped state media broke down and joined the widespread complaints across social media that the government wasn't doing enough to curb industrial pollution.  A month later, netizens are mobilizing again; and this time they are directly confronting state officials about the country’s thousands of polluted waterways.  

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