Social media’s power in China has proven to be tremendous. Millions of netizens revel in satire, funny memes, new buzzwords, stalking celebrities, and microblogging on everyday life. Weibo has become the hottest public platform where people reveal corruption, falsities, local riots and conflicts, controversies, and most recently insights and first-hand reports from the Ya’an earthquake. Some netizens use their real identity, while others choose not to register their real name. Either way, they engage in discussions and debate on current events, social injustice, inequalities, economic development… any topic you can think of. How is Weibo different from the Western Twitter? Why has it unleashed such momentum? What role does it play in Internet free speech in China? What are the sociopolitical implications of this Weibo phenomenon?
CHINATALKS’ John Artman sat down with the founder and editor-in-chief of Danwei.com, Jeremy Goldkorn to talk about the rise of Weibo and its importance within modern China from both social and political perspectives.