Word of the Week: Chinternet

ChinternetChinternet: Contraction of “China” and “Internet”; the Internet with Chinese characteristics. China’s “Great Firewall” filters certain foreign websites and webpages, while government and commercial censors block and delete content. Domestic platforms soak up traffic that would go to globally popular sites, if they were not blocked or otherwise rendered difficult to use: Weibo replaces TwitterBaidu replaces GoogleYouKu stands in for YouTube, and so on.

Chinese Internet users (netizens) also joke that what they are accessing is not the Internet, but the Great Chinese LAN (local area network).

grass-mud horseThe  comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around  and political correctness.