Chinese netizens have made their voices heard more loudly and their presence better recognized in headline news events over the past year.
When the Beijing Olympic torch relay overseas was disrupted in April, almost all the Chinese msn messenger users posted “I love China” beside their names, a move that looked “overwhelming” to Kevin, a French man who was living in Shanghai at the time.
As to domestic affairs, netizens did not sit aloof. After the dairy scandal emerged in September, netizens’ strong criticisms finally led to the resignation of Li Changjiang, then director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
Yan Jirong, professor at Peking University’s School of Government, said this incident showed the government was paying attention to public voices on the Internet.