Engaging Social Media in China: Platforms, Publics, and Production (US–China Relations in the Age of Globalization) (Paperback)

Engaging Social Media in China: Platforms, Publics, and Production (US–China Relations in the Age of Globalization) Cover Image
By Guobin Yang (Editor), Wei Wang (Editor)
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Introducing the concept of state-sponsored platformization, this volume shows the complexity behind the central role the party-state plays in shaping social media platforms. The party-state increasingly penetrates commercial social media while aspiring to turn its own media agencies into platforms. Yet state-sponsored platformization does not necessarily produce the Chinese Communist Party’s desired outcomes. Citizens continue to appropriate social media for creative public engagement at the same time that more people are managing their online settings to reduce or refuse connection, inducing new forms of crafted resistance to hyper-social media connectivity. The wide-ranging essays presented here explore the mobile radio service Ximalaya.FM, Alibaba’s evolution into a multi-platform ecosystem, livestreaming platforms in the United States and China, the role of Twitter in Trump’s North Korea diplomacy, user-generated content in the news media, the emergence of new social agents mediating between state and society, social media art projects, Chinese and US scientists’ use of social media, and reluctance to engage with WeChat. Ultimately, readers will find that the ten chapters in this volume contribute significant new research and insights to the fast-growing scholarship on social media in China at a time when online communication is increasingly constrained by international struggles over political control and privacy issues.

About the Author

Guobin Yang is the Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communication and Sociology at the Annenberg School for Communication and Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Center on Digital Culture and Society and serves as deputy director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China. He is the author of The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China (2016) and the award-winning The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online (2009). He is also the editor or coeditor of four books, including Media Activism in the Digital Age (2017) and China’s Contested Internet (2015).

Wei Wang is a lecturer at USC-SJTU Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. She received her PhD from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. She is interested in China’s economic restructuring, rural-urban links, digital activism, and new economic forms. Her dissertation, “Agricultural Informatization and Agrarian Power Dynamics in Rural China,” examines different modes of applying ICTs and the changing power structures in a glocalized and commercialized agriculture sector. Her articles have appeared in New Media & Society, International Journal of Communication, and other publications.

Praise For…

“An excellent volume on Chinese social media platforms, and their multiple facets in economy, culture, and politics—all sponsored by the partystate, yet the landscape is full of tensions. Highly recommended.”
JACK QIU, professor, Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore

Product Details
ISBN: 9781611863918
ISBN-10: 1611863910
Publisher: Michigan State University Press
Publication Date: May 1st, 2021
Pages: 352
Language: English
Series: US–China Relations in the Age of Globalization