Did The Chinese Watch Obama’s Town Hall?

Take a look at the number of Internet viewers of Obama’s townhall-style meeting in Shanghai, via Marc Ambinder’s at The Atlantic‘s Politics Blog:

The China gig was tricky, given the practicalities of internet communication in China and the reality of a very sensitive host government. But something seems to have worked: of about 200,000 live stream requests, 120,000 were from China. (67,000 were from the United States.) The number of peak concurrent users suggested that there was no sudden drop-off or bottleneck, which would have suggested a concerted censorship effort by the Chinese government.

The White House later recieved word from its embassy that its own Chinese government sources reported that the official Xinhua transcript received more than 50,000,000 page views. (Separately, the U.S. Embassy hosted a live chat about the event. generating about 6,400 unique hits from IP addresses in China.)

The numbers aside, U.S. officials are looking at what they call the “long tail” of the town hall meeting. They hope that Chinese students and citizens share the video over peer-to-peer networks.


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