Author Archives: Stefan Brehm

Big Data Here We Come!

When we put together the program for our workshop “Big Data, Privacy and Surveillance in China: Regulations, Actors, and Debates” we found it quite difficult to identify scholars that work on the matter from a critical perspective. Some we knew from conferences and through various networks. We then did the usual thing – Internet research, article review, and snowballing. A … Continue reading

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Reflections on the 12th Chinese Internet Research Conference

When we argue for something on paper we like to polarise. It seems that basically any issue can be discussed controversially by identifying two opposing opinions or literature strands. Such a dialectical approach to knowledge construction suits us well because it is deeply embedded in our philosophical and hence academic understanding of the world. The 12th Chinese Internet Research Conference … Continue reading

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Conference on the Internet in China

How does the Internet change China? And how does China change the Internet? Within a few years time China has become home to the largest online community worldwide. And even though freedom of expression remains restricted, online and offline, the Internet has transformed Chinese society fundamentally. But China is not just adopting the Internet it is also adapting it. The … Continue reading

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Why so fast? Upload speeds in Eastern Europe and Asia

In my last blog  I tried to show that there is a connection between broadband diffusion and real download speeds. At first glance this sounds trivial given that broadband is defined by transmission speed. But it is actually not that straight forward. In emerging broadband markets download performance will improve only marginally because ISPs add new customers at a pace … Continue reading

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Why so slow? Download speeds in emerging markets

Barbara wrote a blog post a few weeks ago on the state of Internet penetration in China. The figures reassured that the country remains divided with Internet adoption rates below 30 percent in Jiangxi at the lower end and more than 70 percent in Beijing at the upper bound. For those being familiar with China, or any other emerging country … Continue reading

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Are the Days of Political Techno-Optimism Over?

The 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress in November 2012 ended with a major blow for former President Hu Jintao as he could secure only one seat in the Politburo’s standing committee for his allies.  At least five members owe their promotion to an alleged force of the past; former President and Party chief Jiang Zemin, who stepped down in 2002 (read … Continue reading

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