Restrictions on online freedom of expression in China

This report from UK think tank Chatham House looks at the domestic, regional and international implications of China’s policies and practices.

This paper maps the Chinese government’s restrictions on online freedom of expression, and explores their domestic, regional and international implications. It examines China’s model of internet control, censorship and surveillance, drawing on recent examples that have arisen in the COVID-19 context. It analyses the degree to which this approach shapes wider trends and online restrictions in the rest of Asia, looking also at the influence of Western policies and technologies. And it reviews China’s growing influence on global technology governance in multilateral and bilateral settings. This includes China’s increasing assertiveness in international debates about digital technology regulation, its promotion of a vision of ‘cyber sovereignty’ that emphasizes state surveillance and control, and the leadership’s ambitions for the ‘Digital Silk Road’ initiative.


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