Why Does China Allow Freer Social Media? Protests versus Surveillance and Propaganda

@article{Qin2017WhyDC,
  title={Why Does China Allow Freer Social Media? Protests versus Surveillance and Propaganda},
  author={Bei Qin and David Str{\"o}mberg and Yanhui Wu},
  journal={Institutions \& Transition Economics: Political Economy eJournal},
  year={2017}
}
This paper documents basic facts regarding public debates about controversial political issues on Chinese social media. Our documentation is based on a dataset of 13.2 billion blog posts published on Sina Weibo - the most prominent Chinese microblogging platform - during the 2009-2013 period. Our primary finding is that a shockingly large number of posts on highly sensitive topics were published and circulated on social media. For instance, we find millions of posts discussing protests and an… 
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