CDF Conference: Jack Qiu: “A New Long March: E-Government in China”

Jack Linchuan Qiu, USC Annenberg School for Communication
When we look at IT in China, there’s always one big question: What is the state doing? State is using e-government to boost China’s economy, reinforce social control, and implement public sector reform. The state wants the Internet to be a “space of control.”

Goals of public sector reform: efficiency, transparency, accountability, anti-corruption (all long-term goals). It’s telling that democracy is not on the list.

Timeline for e-government:
1993- The 3 Gold Projects
1999- Government Online Project
2001- The establishment of NISG
2002- NISG Recommendations on the construction of E-government in China (Doc. #17)
2003- The technical guidelines (SCIO, MST, MII)
2003- NISG Recommendations on Info Security (Doc. #27)

Institutional Structure
National Level: Central decison-makers SCIO and SCOPSR
Ministerial players like SDRC, MII, MST, MPS, etc.
Sub-National Level: Corresponding agencies of the ministries (tiao), Provincial and city-level information offices (kuai)

Major National Initiatives
Two Networks: Internal and External
One Portal: one central webiste that contains most of the public information, service applications, and interactive functions (at both national and local levels)
Four Databases: basic population information; basic juridical person information; natural resource, space and geography; macro economic information database
Twelve Golden Projects: state initiatives from administration to security

Challenges: legal system, network security, institutional barriers, problems of interconnectivity.

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