newmediadev2009



1. Introduction of Our Project


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Life in Chinese Rural Areas--Agriculture is the major economic activity

Development within China is extremely uneven, and there is a huge divide in the information and communication technologies (ICTs) sector. The eastern, coastal provinces enjoy a favorable geographical setting for industry and trade, which has given them an economic advantage over the western, inland regions. As a result, they also enjoy superior educational and technological resources. As China confronts global challenges and domestic needs, the country has struggled to close the gaps, as was manifest in its incorporation of technology development into policy since 1980s. Since then, China has proved itself to be an important player in the global networks. Exploring its strategic deployment of resources, especially ICTs, can help us understand more about the giant in the East.


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Urban China's prosperity

With this goal in mind, our group, a cohort of students from Taiwan, China, and Japan, attempted to dissect China’s ICTs developments from multiple perspectives, based on our various linguistic, cultural, and academic vantage points. We are fully aware that the issues involved are layered with intricacy. However, due to our constraints in time and space, we are going to limit our research to two major topics: ICTs in education and economic development. Other important issues, such as “freedom of expression and internet censorship and “preservation of ethnic minorities’ are not dealt with here, but those who are interested can start with the following websites:

Freedom of Speech/Expression:
Much of the current discussion around the Internet in China centers around censorship and freedom of expression issues. These Wiki pages focus on government development policies. For some perspectives on Chinese freedom of expression issues, please see:

Ethic Minorities:


2. Methodological Challenges

  • Difference in terminology/vocabulary: eg:” digital divide,” is translated into ”數字鴻溝” (digital gap) in China while the translation in Taiwan is “數位落差”, which is much close to “digital difference.” Typing the terminology from Taiwan into a mainland China search engine generates very little relevant information.

  • Search engine: while Google offers its service in Chinese, Baidu, a mainland China based search engine, tends to generate more comprehensive results, especially when the search is done in simplified Chinese. Most of our search materials come from Baidu.

  • Information accessibility: A lot of the projects we look at in our research are initiated by the local governments or private sectors. Information about these projects are scattered (partly due to China’s size) and sometimes veiled, thus making it hard to draw a comprehensive picture of China’s ICT development in rural area. And that’s why we have to narrow our scope down to education and business.

  • Research from long distance: One of the best ways to evaluate the effectiveness of the ICT projects, we believe, is by going into farmers’ homes and talking to them. Yet the physical and time difference poses significant challenges on this respect. The evaluation method we took is telephone interview, which limits our capacity to reach in-depth understanding of how those projects help farmer on the ground.


3. ICT Projects in China Rural Areas


Under this section, you can explore several ICTs projects revolving around educational and economic developments in rural China. Click on the title to navigate to a new page to view the ICT projects and programs in China's Rural Area.

4. Conclusion and Recommendations


5. Please Give Us Suggestions


SITE MAP

Group Members:
Gary Mu (km2598@columbia.edu )
Tina Yuan (cwy2105@columbia.edu )
Keiju Matsunaga (km2470@columbia.edu )
Liyu Sheng (ls2713@columbia.edu)
YH Tseng (yt2302@columbia.edu )