Internet and self-regulation in China: the cultural logic of controlled commodification

Weber, Ian and Lu, Jia (2007) Internet and self-regulation in China: the cultural logic of controlled commodification. Media Culture and Society, 29 (5). pp. 772-789. ISSN 0163-4437


This article examines the implementation of self-regulation in China's internet sector through the forging of subtler control relationships between media corporations and the state. It uses three case studies of domestic and global media joint venture operations in the converging areas of online and mobile gaming to show how media commercialization is balanced by control modalities to reaffirm the government as a central agency in the gradual transition to a socialist-market economy. Within these processes of controlled commodification, the government uses trust-building to establish cultural leadership as a way of protecting political and social cohesion while benefiting from global economic integration. The study reveals the cultural logic, or hegemonic norm, that underpins the new bottom-up business model for media management in China. Underscoring these processes, however, is a quasi-Sartrean irony of 'winner loses' logic, whereby increased transparency or access to information is limited to entertainment and not a substantially greater say for citizens in the formulation of China's future.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2007 SAGE Publications. Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Date Deposited: 11 May 2010 04:04
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2013 06:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: China; commodification; control; internet; regulation
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160503 Communications and Media Policy
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200102 Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0807 Library and Information Studies > 080704 Information Retrieval and Web Search
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440701 Communications and media policy
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4701 Communication and media studies > 470102 Communication technology and digital media studies
46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4605 Data management and data science > 460508 Information retrieval and web search
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
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