So, the elite 1% of China's society are now being limited by President Xi's campaign to reduce Chinese Internet users access to Western content. The NY Times worries that without access to tools such as Google Scholar that innovation in China will slow down. This suggests that the NY Times views the elite as the engine of growth in China. This is even more true as China's reliance on heavy manufacturing declines as it follows the San Francisco blueprint for economic growth.
Another DIRECT Quote:
"In recent weeks, a number of Chinese academics have gone online to express their frustrations, particularly over their inability to reach Google Scholar, a search engine that provides links to millions of scholarly papers from around the world.
‘It’s like we’re living in the Middle Ages,” Zhang Qian, a naval historian, complained on the microblog service Sina Weibo.
In an essay that has been circulating on social media, one biologist described how the unending scramble to find ways around website blockages was sapping colleagues’ energy.
“It’s completely ridiculous,” he wrote of the wasted hours spent researching and downloading V.P.N. software that works. “For a nation that professes to respect science, and wants to promote scientific learning, such barriers suggest little respect for the people actually engaged in science.”
It is not just scientists who have come to depend on an unabridged Internet for their work. Cheng Qingsong, a prominent film critic, complained that it was more and more difficult to stream foreign movies. Andrew Wang, a professor of translation at Beijing Language and Culture University, worried that his students would be unable carry out assignments that require them to watch English-language videos on YouTube, which has long been blocked here."
So, there are two ways to interpret this story.
1. The Internet is a consumption tool and fun in China for the elites who speak English will decline as they can't access Google and Facebook and other Western social media tools.
2. The Internet is a production tool and China's economic growth will slow as their elite's productivity will decline without access to the Western frontier knowledge. Note that the 99% who do not speak English are nowhere mentioned here. The NY Times embraces the idea that the 1% are the engine of China's future growth. I find that interesting. Do you?