My latest LA Review of Books China Blog post went up on the site last week, but I was away on a work trip and didn’t have time to link to it until now. In the post, I interview Liz Carter, a Washington, D.C.-based translator and author of Let 100 Voices Speak: How the Internet is Transforming China and Changing Everything, a great introduction to the importance of social media in China:
Your book discusses the evolution of social media in China over the past decade or so. What do you consider two or three landmark events that really changed the social media landscape there?
I think the rise and fall of various platforms, as well as the intermittent government crackdowns, have had the greatest effect. The blocking of Twitter, Google, YouTube, and Facebook definitely restricted the social media sphere, while the subsequent rise of China’s own Sina Weibo marked a period of really open discussion, debate and criticism. Finally, the crackdown on social media that began in 2013, which coincided with a rise in mobile internet use and the increasing popularity of WeChat, changed the way people use the internet and restricted the space for free expression.
Liz is also the newest addition to our team of regular contributors at the China Blog. Read more about her in the full Q&A, here.