From Yulun (Public Opinion) to Yuqing (Public Sentiment): Their History and Practice in China’s Information Management
Yong Hu, Beijing University
4:00pm – 6:30pm, 26 May, 2016
Room 119, John Goodsell Building, UNSW Kensington, Sydney
Panelists: Haiqing Yu (UNSW), Jing Zhao (UNSW), Wanning Sun (UTS), Joyce Nip (USYD), and Jian Xu.
In this public seminar Professor Yong HU traces the change of lexicon from yulun (public opinion) to yuqing (public sentiment) and the evolution of the latter in China’s information control and management system. Yuqing is a product of public opinion control in the Internet age. It can be understood as a kind of intelligence on public opinion. It operates as both a sanctioning and screening mechanism of yulun. It was originally developed to serve the ruling elites’ need to understand public sentiments on the ground in order to solve social problems for the purpose of maintaining social stability. But gradually it has morphed into an organized control of public opinion, and become a standard Party and government practice to contain and even eliminate public opinion. The change of lexicon and practice from yulun to yuqing is a result of the change in China’s information governance and social management. Yuqing has been used to put down sparks in the prairie, rather than promoting fundamental changes based on the “sentiments” of the masses. Yuqing monitoring has morphed into an organized mechanism of social control.
Yong Hu is Professor of journalism and communication at Beijing University, China, and a well-known new media critic and Chinese Internet pioneer. He is the author of 13 books and numerous articles on Chinese Internet and digital communication. Hu is also a veteran journalist, translator, social activist, blogger, and entrepreneur in digital and social media. He is the founding director of Communication Association of China and China New Media Communication Association; and co-founder of the Digital Forum of China and Chinavalue.net.
The event will commence from 4pm with lecture from 4:30-5:30pm. Followed by a panel discussion and Q&A from 5.30-6.30pm.