Historicizing Internet Use in China and the Problem of the User Figure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To those writing user-centric histories, China provides an opportunity to look at the profound implications of the underlying conceptions of the user figure and thus highlights the importance of the historian's critical awareness. Although rigorous scholarly histories on the subject are still in their infancy, historical narratives about the Chinese Internet prevail in popular media, institutional reports, and scholarly works. However, these narratives are generally organized around two visions of the Chinese Internet and its users. In this article, the author digs deeper into these preestablished conceptions and illustrates how they do not account for historical understandings of Internet use and sociocultural changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7343721
Pages (from-to)2-4
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Chinese Internet
  • Chinese Internet communications
  • censorship
  • history of computing
  • history of technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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