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China's telecommunications industry has seen revolutionary transformation and growth over the past three decades. Chinese Internet users number nearly 150 million, and the PRC expects to quickly pass the US in total numbers of connected citizens. The number of mobile and fixed-line telephone users soared from a mere 2 million in 1980 to a total of nearly 800 million in 2007. China has been the most successful developing nation in history for spreading
telecommunications access at an unparalleled rapid pace.
This book tells how China conducted its remarkable "telecommunications revolution". It examines both corporate and government policy to get citizens connected to both voice and data networks, looks at the potential challenges to the one-party government when citizens get this access, and considers the new opportunities for networking now offered to the people of one of the world's fastest growing economies.
The book is based on the author's fieldwork conducted in several Chinese cities, as well as extensive archival research. It focuses on key issues such as building and running the country's Internet, mobile phone company rivalry, foreign investment in the sector, and telecommunications in China's vibrant city of Shanghai. It also considers the country's internal "digital divide", and questions how equitable the telecommunications revolution has been. Finally, it examines the ways the PRC's entry
to the World Trade Organization will shape the future course of telecommunications growth.
Eric Harwit is Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii. A 1984 graduate of Cornell University, he received a diploma from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing in 1990, and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992.
Professor Harwit is a frequent speaker at international conferences, including the World Economic Forum regional conference in Beijing, the Harvard Asia Business Conference, and the Yale University Business in China conference. He and his work have been cited in Time magazine, Business Week, The Economist, Asian Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and other print and broadcast media outlets.