According to the China Internet Network Information Center, 420 million Chinese citizens – over a third of the country – are internet users. But while that’s an impressive number, it opens up a box of trouble for a government bent on domination at home.

China watchers in the west have long foreseen the Communist party’s struggle to control the virtual monster it unleashed. Really, it was inevitable.

Sure enough, the dissent that began in Tunisia spread to China, and it did so via the internet. In response, Beijing predictably stepped up web censorship over the past few weeks to discourage protests.

It might not have had to put so much effort into those restrictions if not for the rapid growth of microblogs this year. Their expansion has greatly increased the number of people taking part in online debates and the speed at which information is spread.

The growth of these microblogs indicates that Chinese internet users have adapted to the censorship of politically sensitive topics…

Read More at InvestmentU by Tony D’Altorio, Investment U Research

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