China’s tightening grip on cyberspace


Play episode:

Adam Segal returns to discuss China’s new cybersecurity law, crackdowns on VPNs and foreign companies, and the country’s strengthening data nationalism.

Adam Segal is the Ira A. Lipman Chair in Emerging Technologies and National Security and director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations. You may remember him from an episode of Sinica last year, when he discussed his excellent book The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age.

Adam returns to Sinica to comment on China’s recent cybersecurity law — where it came from, how it changed as it was being drafted, and how it may shape the flow of information in China in the future. Other issues discussed include the bargaining power — or lack thereof — of foreign companies such as Apple when faced with new rules and regulations in China, and related crackdowns on VPNs and other aspects of China’s ironically anti-globalized view of the internet.


Jeremy: A three-part BBC documentary, about 30 minutes long, about live streaming in China. It follows the story of a very popular 24-year-old woman who claims to make $450,000 per year by performing and sharing her life with adoring fans online. Watch the first part here.

Adam: Flood of Fire, the third book in the Ibis Trilogy by Amitav Ghosh about the Opium War. It brings together characters from India, the U.S., and China, and tells their stories in a sweeping saga.

Kaiser: The podcast Binge Mode, with Jason Concepcion and Mallory Rubin, a smart and funny look at every episode of Game of Thrones.