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Who Believed in COVID-19 Conspiracies in China?

As COVID-19 quickly spread throughout the world since January 2020, the uncertainty concerning the origins and features of the virus provided a fertile ground for misinformation and conspiracy theories to thrive. Different from those popular COVID-19 conspiracy narratives in the West, on Chinese social media the conspiracies that gained traction were ones that faulted the[…]

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Pandemic strengthens China’s platforms as infrastructure providers

After strict lockdown measures went into place in China, nearly all commercial activity shifted online. E-commerce expanded its reach in the form of rural live-streaming (村播): farmers-turned-online-hosts selling fresh produce and the nostalgia of the countryside to tens of millions of urban consumers glued to their smartphones at home. The exchange is simple. Using apps[…]

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The bio-surveillance state: an emerging new normal in Asia

When economic activity gradually resumed in China in mid-February, Chinese residents returned to a “new normal” under a strict surveillance infrastructure. They have their temperatures taken and personal information logged as they enter office buildings, residential communities and large commercial venues. And their freedom of movement depends on an app called Health Code (健康码), which[…]