Thinking global, living local: Voices in a globalized world

Discussion on Inequality and Social Media in China

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This blogpost is written by Ting Xu, Senior Project Manager at the Bertelsmann Foundation North America.

Recently I joined a discussion on the Al Jazeera English network’s live broadcast of The Stream. The show, which taps the capabilities of social media to present global perspectives from under-represented individuals and groups, presented a discussion on “China’s Class War.” I enjoyed a lively conversation hosted by Al Jazeera’s Imran Garda along with Chinese journalist Jin Zhao and commentator Malcolm Riddell.

The program’s topic centered on the growing frustration of what some claim is ‘undeserved wealth’ throughout China.  During the discussion I felt it was important to explain how Chinese social media is in fact a double-edged sword. On one hand, people are using it to protest against a number of injustices, but at the same time the government is listening. So while it provides an important outlet for dissatisfaction and is an effective public opinion barometer for government officials, much depends on what the government then do with that information. Watch the full discussion here.

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