The annual Chinese Internet Research Conference — www.circ.asia — first convened in 2003, when China’s Internet population totaled 22.5 million and Facebook and Twitter had not even been conceived, a group of researchers came together to organize a conference to study the Internet in China. By all indications even then, it was clear that China would have a major impact on the global digital economy. Ten years on, that foresight has been vindicated.
China today has the largest Internet population of any country and it has made its presence felt in the Internet space. In all aspects of the Internet – online gaming, micro blogging, search engines, e-commerce, content regulation, Internet governance, international domain names – China is both changing and being changed by the Internet.
The annual Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC) investigates these phenomena, asking probing questions into what, how, to what extent, and why these changes are taking and have taken place.