Christopher Walker and Sarah Cook: China’s Commercialization of Censorship
The irony is that the dominant Western narrative on China has it that market-oriented development would inevitably lead to liberalization, including, presumably, for the news media. This narrative’s assumptions look increasingly flawed, however. Instead, the Chinese authorities are working out a recipe for CCP media values—“watch what you can watch, and don’t watch what you cannot watch” as a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson recently explained—to trump genuine market values of open competition, transparency, and rule of law.
Even more impressive is that the “market-based censorship” model has been achieved in the context of a rapidly changing media environment; the CCP is successfully adapting controls from old media to new, including the internet.