The Chinese Language Area is Different
The internet is different inside China. That’s why we produced two separate rankings, which clearly demonstrate where China’s digital borders lie.
Thought Leaders 2016: Websphere Outside China
China is different. So different that there are not one but two rankings for this cultural region. The first ranking is based on the same criteria as other regions. However, this results in a ranking that tends to represent the view from outside China’s borders: many services used around the world, such as Wikipedia, Google or Twitter, are hardly used at all in China, either because there are homegrown alternatives or because the government impedes or even prohibits access. The second ranking therefore also factored in the most significant Chinese offerings, such as the search engine Baidu or the encyclopaedia Baike. Well ahead in both rankings are entrepreneurs (both old, like Li Ka-shing from Hong Kong, and new, like Jack Ma of Alibaba) and authors (like the Nobel Laureate Mo Yan). China’s economists and lawyers only generate interest within the country itself: the system itself rules out points of reference here for the rest of the world. By contrast, activists and dissidents such as Chen Guangchang play a much more significant role outside China than in the conversation happening within the country itself.