Beijing, First Published Jun 30, 2021, 5:08 PM IST
Club China did not think the House would be so bad. Clubhouse is banned in China but is widely used by Chinese citizens outside China. Issues such as the treatment of Uyghur minorities, oppression in Hong Kong, and relations with Taiwan, which Beijing considers a secessionist province, are being discussed in public. Informs positions. The Chinese government did not care so much. ‘This is the first time I have logged on to the real internet in Chinese,’ a young woman in China announced in a session that it was their passion. But Chinese officials say the clubhouse is a digital form of anti-Chinese sentiment. What is going on in it is completely anti-Chinese.
As the clubhouse became a worldwide hit, the Chinese version was released, borrowing its concept. The app was called Enlightenment Salon or ES. As things got bigger, the Chinese government, which smelled danger, suggested that it should be reduced as well. Anyway, the clubhouse is now on the verge of breaking down China’s firewall. Its functionality goes beyond audio and video textwall firewalls. That is why here you can hear conversations ranging from the pros and cons of democracy in the Chinese-speaking world to the possibility of uniting Taiwan with China and the occasional touching personal story. This is very rare, because in recent years, amidst campaigns and conflicts from China and Taiwan, continuous free-wheeling discussions on a single digital platform have been generally impossible.
Political content is usually filtered by China’s state-of-the-art ‘best firewall’ censorship system. Those who dare to speak on platforms such as the micro-blogging site Weibo and the messaging platform WeChat are likely to get into trouble with the authorities. But there were no sensors in the clubhouse, and the speakers ‘confidence was further boosted by the fact that the app did not record the audio of users’ chats. The conversation was not all political. At times, people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait shared memories of visiting each other’s cities.
At the same time, cultural and cultural accusations arose that his favorite song from a Chinese indie rock band was actually called Taipei. However, the most recent talks took place in Xinjiang, an area where China is alleged to have detained one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in concentration camps. It lasted for hours. The heated debate took place against the backdrop of Beijing’s assertion that there are “vocational schools” here that fight “terrorism and religious extremism.” Chinese digital managers are pondering how anti-China sentiment is mounting through the clubhouse, and how it can be completely subdued. Moving into a digital war of this kind could put the clubhouse to great use in Taiwan and put pressure on many, including the United States.
Last Updated Jun 30, 2021, 5:08 PM IST