Information is key to the new global geopolitical and geoeconomic frontier. In a fight to regulate information flow, the Chinese government has blocked Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and censored information that it deems detrimental in the name of “Chinese national interest.” Last year Google refused to comply with Chinese censorship laws and moved its search engine servers to the relatively free Hong Kong, leaving room for Chinese homegrown search engine Baidu to expand significantly. The Google China Standoff calls attention to the restricted nature of cyberspace and the visibility of the state in regulating, virtually, national borders. As political interest is imbued with economic interest, the long-fought global trade war is now on information. Meanwhile, unfiltered information is becoming a precious good for netizens.
Ying Zhu is Professor and Coordinator of Cinema Studies in the Department of Media Culture, and Director of Modern China/East Asian Studies Group at the College of Staten Island, the City University of New York. Her writing has appeared in media journals, online publications and edited volumes in the US, China, and Europe. She is the author of Chinese Cinema during the Era of Reform: the Ingenuity of the System (2003) and Television in Post-Reform China: Serial Drama, Confucian Leadership and Global Television Market(2008); editor of TV China (with Chris Berry, 2009), amonst others. Her first major trade book on China Central Television, Two Billion Eyes is forthcoming.
She is currently working on a TV documentary about the revival of Confucius classics among Chinese college youth. She is the recipient of American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (2007-08) and of the 2006 Fellow of National Endowment for the Humanities. She co-curated “Chinese Film Retrospective” at New York’s Lincoln Centre in 2005 and contributed major articles to the China Studies blog of the New York Times.