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Juggling ecumenical wisdoms and xenophobic institutions: Framing and modelling China's telecommunications universal service and rural digitalization initiatives and policies

Jun Xia

Telecommunications Policy, 2022, vol. 46, issue 2

Abstract: China historically belongs to a farming civilization, in which rural population tended to stick to their farmlands for a lifetime. This situation has somehow been changing with, inter alia, the advancement and application of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). In recent years, China has been pushing for the inclusion of its rural communities into modern information society through aggressively digitalizing its rural areas under a public policy umbrella. With the literature's lopsided focus on Western nations, a cohesive paradigm in mapping the Chinese style of universal service implementation remains elusive, a situation that has often obfuscated deeper understanding of the Chinese case from a socioeconomic, technological, or institutional perspective. The main purpose of this present paper lies in the framing and modelling of China's universal service and rural digitalization practices. The paper proposes and applies an integrated offer–agent–target (OAT) framework in a retrospective and empirical examination of the Chinese case and conceptual characterization of what has appeared to be the Chinese model. In so doing, China's universal service development is demarcated into discernible stages that are then pattern-matched with corresponding institutional landscapes. Three salient stages are identified and corresponding institutional landscapes explicated. Finally, insights and suggestions are offered that throws lights on the current issues and future developments.

Keywords: Information and communication technologies (ICT); Digital transformation; Broadband Internet; Mobile Internet; USO policy framework; Digital economy; Chinese model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.telpol.2021.102258

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