For their unprecedented scale and effectiveness, China’s efforts at censorship have been dubbed the “Great Firewall.” China, however, now has grander ambitions. Without much fanfare, the Chinese government has turned its focus outward, seeking to take its influence over the information environment global.
In “Beyond the Great Firewall: How China Became a Global Information Power,” Shanthi Kalathil examines China’s strategy to harness the global information ecosystem through three avenues: shaping international news media, guiding the evolution of the global Internet, and influencing global culture through Hollywood.
The report points to a concerning trend. Not only is China reshaping its international image, it has had in some cases succeeded at enshrining authoritarian norms and values in the very markets, protocols and production processes that govern these global systems.