The Growing power of the internet

From the new issue of Economist: “Driving a BMW sports car past unemployed workers waiting for work on street corners is a display of wealth and status that many among the ranks of China’s urban poor would find galling enough. But imagine how they would feel if the wealthy driver, fuming after a brush with a tractor, ploughed into a group of people, causing death and injury.

Just such an incident occurred last October outside a job centre in the depressed city of Harbin, about 1,000km (600 miles) north-east of Beijing. Two months later, the driver, Su Xiuwen, got only a suspended sentence for killing the tractor driver’s wife and injuring 12 others. The court, oddly, was impressed by Miss Su’s argument that she had little idea how to drive having obtained her licence illegally.
The ruling has triggered one of the biggest outpourings of internet rage ever seen in China. One of the country’s most popular web portals, , received some 200,000 postings on the subject in ten days, close to last year’s reaction to the outbreak of the respiratory disease SARS . ”

Continue to read this article at here. Thanks to John Battelle for forwarding this link to CDN.


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