22 October 2007

China Gets Wired

Indeed, it's possible that the restrictions on press reporting, both on- and offline, is actually spurring Internet use. In the first half of 2003, for example, during the SARS crisis, 9 million Chinese people went online for the first time, and almost 50% of users reported an increase in their Internet usage during SARS. Silencing the press anywhere is likely to pique interest, and despite the surveillance, China's Internet is still a place to sate such curiosity. As blogger Lian Yue said in a recent email interview with your correspondent, "For people who have even just a little Internet experience, you can pretty much get any information you want to know."

Just think about the implications of that last sentence....

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