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China Internet Restrictions Influence on Chinese IT-companies and Online Services Through the Example of Alibaba Group and Tencent

Student: Vladimir Todorov

Supervisor: Svetlana Gorbacheva

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Asian Studies (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2017

This diploma paper covers the topic of China internet restrictions influence on business processes of Chinese IT-companies and online-services in terms of Alibaba Group and Tencent. The goal of this paper is to explore the existing restrictions in the Chinese internet, analyze its influence on the development of the Chinese internet market and online-services as well as classify the activities of the two largest Chinese IT-companies by market value – Alibaba Group and Tencent. Since the middle of the 1990-s Chinese authorities have started the consequent regulation of internet legislation. At first they argued it in favour of necessity for securing sensitive information, then replacing it with safeguarding the population from the expansion of the ideologically wrong content. This lead to the development of the full-scale system for digital content filtering named «The Golden Shield project», forming the groups of internet users being loyal to the authorities also known as «The 50 cent army» and the expansion of the self-censorship phenomenon, preventing Chinese internet users from publishing unwelcome content. Chinese IT- and telecom-companies became the main beneficiaries from the implementation of «The Golden Shield project» and other restrictions in the Chinese internet, but far from everyone used this opportunity for foreign market acquisition. That’s why in this paper the author analyses the examples of Alibaba Group and Tencent, for whom these restrictions turned into the victory over foreign competitors and the takeoff point for exploring the foreign markets.

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