The Internet was expected to help democratize China, but has instead enabled the authoritarian state to get a firmer grip. So begins The Economist's special fourteen page report on the state of the Internet in China, a survey that paints the country's online communities as canaries in gilded cages of sorts, and touches on everything from what censorship tells us about who really wields power in China, to more broader patterns of innovation and investment in China's high-tech industry.

Given our longstanding predilection for tech gossip, we are delighted to be joined on Sinica this week by none other than Gady Epstein, author of the Economist's fourteen page survey and our resident expert on general techniques for nailing jello to the wall. And if you're interested on the Internet in China be sure to listen up: we promise is a wide-ranging and fun discussion touching on many of the pieces in The Economist, along with some insider gossip about what points the Economist decided were simply too much to print.

Like Sinica? If you enjoy this podcast, be sure to give us your take on things in the comment section, or write us at We also invite you to download this show as a standalone mp3 file, or subscribe to the Sinica podcast via RSS by opening iTunes, selecting "Subscribe to Podcast" from the "Advanced" file menu, and providing the URL when prompted. Enjoy!
 said on
April 13, 2013
Here's a link for Tim Minchin. (It's an interview on mp3 with Phillip Adams, who has also interviewed Jeremy a few times.)

(Tim Minchin was Kaiser's recommendation this week.)
 said on
April 14, 2013
Another Australian comedian who may be of interest to Sinica listeners is Ronny Chieng. Here's a sample of his work:
 said on
April 15, 2013
i can't see the transcript...does it mean i have to upgrade my account to get it
 said on
April 15, 2013

Sources and acknowledgements for Gady's report:



China and the Environment: The Green Revolution, edited by Sam Geall


The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves, by Dan Ariely


Tim Minchin's Storm

A Problem Like Matilda, by Michael Schulman for The New Yorker
 said on
April 16, 2013
@hongvan240970 - the transcripts are included with the premium accounts, yes. So if you want to access transcripts either on the site or embedded in the MP3 files, you'll need a premium account.
 said on
December 22, 2013
Great show. I am writing an academic paper on controlling modern communication by the Chinese state and I am stealing every source listed. Keep up the great shows and I hope to meet the both of you in the next year or two when I start teaching in China.
Mark Lesson Studied