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Exploring the cyber governance discourse: A perspective from China

  • Chunhui Wang , Le Cheng and Jiamin Pei EMAIL logo


This study aims to examine China's approach to the cyber governance, especially the discourse of Internet information, through a detailed investigation of the Provision on Ecological Governance of Internet Information Content. The findings in this study indicate that China's approach to the governance of Internet information possesses the following essential features: the clarification of the dialectical relationship between Internet freedom and order, the unification of carrying forward positive energy and restraining negative information, the people-oriented and bottom-up participatory approach to the ecological governance of Internet information, as well as the strictly prohibitive conducts of three key administrative counterparts. The underlying reasons for choosing such an ecological path to regulate the Internet information can be attributed to China's national configuration, including its political system, cultural tradition, status quo of the Internet development, and the pervasive cybersecurity challenges facing its society. It is thus argued that the governance of Internet information, characteristic of spatiality, can merely be construed within specific socio-political and cultural contexts. Albeit the spatiality of the governance of the Internet information, China's approach can serve as a model for other nations to develop their own governance discourses pertaining to the Internet information. This study aims not only to unpack the Chinese discourse of the ecological governance of Internet information but also to provide useful insights into the discourse and practices of global cyber governance.

Corresponding author: Jiamin Pei,Center for Contemporary Chinese Discourse Studies and Research Base for Global Cyberspace Governance, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, PR China, E-mail:

Funding source: Establishing and Perfecting the Comprehensive System of Cyber Governance

Funding source: Promoting the Cooperation on Cyberspace Strategy under the Belt and Road

Award Identifier / Grant number: SKY-505101-0003


This work was supported by Establishing and Perfecting the Comprehensive System of Cyber Governance (a major project of National Social Science Foundation) and Promoting the Cooperation on Cyberspace Strategy under the Belt and Road (Grant Number SKY-505101-0003).


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Published Online: 2020-05-04
Published in Print: 2020-05-26

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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