Can the Internet Bring About Revolution in China?

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"Cities that never had phone service are being wired for broadband," says Edward Tian, the man credited with building the Internet in China. "We are basically wiring the nation with fiber that will bring limitless opportunity to the people."

Yahoo! Internet Life magazine writer David Sheff has followed the key players in the Internet boom that is taking place in the world's 2nd most populous nation. In his new book, "China Dawn," Sheff shares the personal stories of these entrepreneurs and spells out the potential far-reaching implications of the Internet taking root in China.

Sheff asserts that the Internet will revolutionize China. It will effectively end the Communist Party's control over information flows, and mobilize massive social and political change. The Internet could also bring about an economic revolution. Since China represents 20% of the world's market, this could impact the entire global economy.

Skeptics argue that change has never come easily in China, and the Internet will suffer the same fate as past "gateways to change" in China. As one reviewer pointed out, it was Mao himself who stated, "Political power grows from the barrel of a gun."

This hour, the Internet takes root in China — what will it all mean?


David Sheff, author of "China Dawn: The Story of a Technology and Business Revoltuion;" writer with Yahoo! Internet Life magazine

Ethan Gutmann, visiting fellow at the Project for the New American Century

worked as a government relations and business consultant in Beijing

This program aired on March 27, 2002.


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