Wed, Aug 01, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Digital propaganda

The Chinese Communist Party has turned to social media and video games to boost its ideological message. But are China’s tech-savvy microbloggers and gamers interested?

Bloomberg, Beijing

President Hu, in a speech marking the party’s 90th anniversary last year, said the party must recruit people of integrity “on merits without regard to their origins” and make sure that “those who seek personal gain by acting in a calculating way and currying favor gain nothing.”

Meantime, other officials trumpet the party’s efforts at modernity as a success.

“We have made some new breakthroughs in the areas of Internet radio, animation, games, micro-film-making productions,” Lu Hao (陸昊), first secretary of the Youth League Central Committee, said in March. The party’s youth wing should use “new media and fashionable means,” he said.

The mix of the historical and the modern is on display at the museum in Shanghai celebrating the 1921 birth of China’s Communist Party, where visitors admire wax statues of Mao and his fellow party founders. On stand-up touchscreen displays, they can check mobile phone ads, browse the online version of the People’s Daily, and read microblog updates.

“It’s very good the Party is using Weibo and technology to teach young people about its history,” said Jiang Linlin, 23, a Shanghai University student who was volunteering at the museum and said she has pledged to become a member. “I love China and joining the Party shows your dedication and also helps you to find a good job.”

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