This document is a subsection of New Media and Social Movements


China's Response to Ocuppy Wall Street

Why Occupy Wall Street didn't happen in Mainland China?

  • Chinese Government: The Chinese government's strategic reaction to OWS proved its effective risk control and management abilities. The Chinese government highly controlled the Chinese mainstream media coverage of OWS, carefully monitored public discussions related to OWS on new media platforms through internet censorship to filter anti-government messages, and completely blocked internet access to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in China via the Great Firewall, which effectively shaped public opinion about the "evil of western capitalism" and prevented any potential social risks that could be ignited by OWS.
  • Chinese People: The general public expressed their opinion about OWS on various media sites in China. Although two small demonstrations happened in two cities, Zhengzhou and Luoyang, in the early of October, these events criticized the "evil of western capitalism" and supported socialism, and there was no mention of domestic issues. Besides the Chinese mainstream media's influence on public opinion, lack of strong individual willingness and direct external incentives are the key factors that made the OWS global movement fail to spread to China. In contrast to the key issues that ignited the OWS movement in the U.S., the relative positive economic conditions in China including rapid economic growth, stable employment rate and limited power of the financial system, to a large extent, minimized the possibility of the Chinese people's spontaneous actions in support of OWS in China .
  • Chinese Media: The Chinese mainstream media, including the traditional media and the new media, play a key role in creating dynamic public opinion against western capitalism as well as preventing anti-government actions in China. The new media, especially social media, provided broad communication platforms for the public to discuss OWS sufficiently. The government then carefully filtered and banned any anti-government contents on these websites, which helped the government to monitor public opinion in real time and ensure social stability through a clever and indirect approach.