Network society governance mechanism from the perspective of cultural consciousness

By Chen Hua
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, September 20, 2016
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It is irresponsible for a government to give up its governance of the internet. This responsibility, in China, is directly related to whether the country can take the initiative in its cultural transformation.

In 2014, China came to the youth stage in terms of internet development. The Chinese government and the Communist Party of China pay close attention to establishing an effective administrative mechanism based on a strong confidence in and consciousness of Chinese culture.

The 18th National Congress of CPC, in late 2012, clearly proposed the subject of network society governance, and vowed to ensure network and information security through effective administration of cyberspace, while not impeding the internet's necessary and fast development. China still needs to enhance relevant laws, administration and self-regulation in cyberspace governance, however.

The change of the themes at the annual Forum on Internet Media of China in recent years reflects the fact that China is exploring and adjusting to the fast development of the internet industry. The theme has changed from the industry's development to network media's social responsibilities, to cyberspace governance with Chinese characteristics, China's soft power and new development of network media, and then the improvement in the internet's communication ability.

After 2012, the hot topics are the "Chinese Dream" and aspects of the network society. The development process indicates the internet is evolving into a complicated comprehensive system consisting of factors of technology, media, culture and society.

There are currently over 700 million Chinese web users. A big challenge for the government is to adapt its governance model to the fast growth and the fact that the internet has become an inalienable part of people's life.

Some experts say China has two reforms, one involving government and the other the "marginal" people, who are poor farmers, entrepreneurs and some other social members, who do not live on government payments but have a big influence on the country's changing society. The farmers piloted land reform in the countryside, and the entrepreneurs brought in a strong private economy to China from the late 1970s. The internet industry becomes a new cradle nurturing such people in the 21st Century.

China is deepening its economic reform. For instance, the government recognizes the decisive role of the market in resource allocation and the spirit of the contract, which wins the esteem of society. Likewise, in the internet media landscape, many similar pending questions need to be answered. For example, how to define online information's property rights? How to improve contract relations? How to enhance network users' media literacy? And how to raise the people's awareness of behaving themselves as responsible citizens in an internet-led society?

China is going through a social and cultural transformation. How to define Chinese culture's position in the world and within China's transformation is a problem puzzling many people.

Cultural self-consciousness can consolidate people's confidence with their own national culture, which is the foundation for cultural innovation, and it is a reliable guarantee to realize the "Chinese Dream".

Establishment of China's network cultural self-consciousness should be in line with the construction of China's market economy with Chinese characteristics, and the traditional culture and thought system.

Network cultural self-consciousness is an important part of China's soft power, as the cyberspace increasingly becomes a new arena for international cultural competition and clash of difference civilizations.

Many problems have appeared with the fast development of the internet in China. There are no simple answers. But establishing the network cultural self-consciousness is a prerequisite to tackle these problems.

The author is an associate researcher of Beijing Internet Information office

The article was translated by Jason Lee.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of


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