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Digital Neo-Colonization: A Perspective From China

Sun, May 27, 14:00 to 15:15, Hilton Prague, M, Tyrolka


Emerging from its “one hundred years of humiliation,” China embarked on a long journey of self-development/reliance from Mao to Deng to Xi today. Guided by an anti-imperialist mantra, China focused on “four modernizations” in agriculture, industry, national defense, and science and technology since the late 1970s. Today, Chinese Internet giants (Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu) both rival the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon and become linked to global capital and politics. Ironically, the opposition to Western digital colonization has forged a growing alliance between indigenous tech giants and political authorities to form massive surveillance apparatuses. A new layer of neo-colonization has also emerged where China and Chinese Internet firms are competing against old colonial powers, viewing Africa, for instance, as "China's second continent." This introduces contrarian practices within the Global South, engenders new forms of neo-colonial ideologies, and (re)produces colonial digital subjects and processes.


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