The Rickshaw Report: The Internet

From the 16th to the 18th of December, the Chinese city of Wuzhen hosted the World Internet Conference. In order to mark this event, this week’s Rickshaw Report is focuses on the Internet!

1.China’s online population hit 668 million in June 2015. How has the internet changed the lives of Chinese people?
How can I answer this big question? Let’s just say the internet completely changed our lives.

2.What websites do you most often check out?
I catch up on the latest news by visiting Xinhua news and Tencent news. I also like to check out articles by the foreign press which have been translated into Mandarin in order to find out what the rest of the world thinks about China.

3. It’s not uncommon to see people’s eyes glued to their smartphones screens on the subway, or even when eating out with their friends Do you ever get concerned that our society is becoming too addicted to the internet?

Yes, I think the internet is harmful to our society. I depend too much on the internet keep contact with friends.

4.Is there any way the web could be used for evil?
Yes, of course. Every coin has two sides. One big problem is online hacking. These hackers are extremely professional.

5.Should young children have their own smartphones?
I think young children should not have access to smartphones until they graduate from middle school. But, in fact, nowadays children as young as three years old even own such gadgets.

6.Does the internet play a major role in your everyday life? Could you cope with having no internet access for a week?
A week!? Come on, I could survive an entire lifetime without internet access. Look, I just use a simple cell phone, which covers my basic needs – I can make calls and send text messages. I also have another phone – a smartphone- so that I can use Wechat, but this phone doesn’t even have a SIM card.

7. What are your most commonly used apps on your smartphone?
Wechat. I use this app to keep in touch with friends and also stay up to date on the latest news.

8. Many people are talking about Google’s “return” to China. What are your thought on this?
I have never used Google before. I think it is just returning to China to make profits. China is a huge market, you know. And Google makes profits but then says bad stuff about China. Every country has its own regulations and rules. If you want to do business with a country, you should respect its rules.

9. Whatdo you make of China’s booming e-commerce industry?
I’m actually quite worried that the rise of e-commerce has had a negative impact on our society. Instead of meeting up withfriends, eating out, going for walks etc. everyone just stays at home and shops online. The streets are full of those courier delivery trucks. Another concern is the actual quality of the products that can be bought online. There are so many fake goods, and, then, its a really frustrating task to return them back to the online vendors and seek a refund. Online-shopping is probably even more popular in China than in the USA. I think e-commerce neither good for our country’s economy nor for our people.