“Beijing, in other words, has a political interest in keeping China’s internet commercially healthy. Observers who predicted a decade or more ago that China’s political and economic structures were unsustainable and the country would imminently “crash” were wrong. And contemporary analysts who believe that the relatively closed nature of China’s internet will lead to the downfall of the Party-state will likely be proved wrong, too. Chen Yun, a Party elder who spent much of his career overseeing the economy, advocated the idea of a “birdcage economy” for China. The cage was the state economic plan, within which free markets – the birds – could move freely. China’s approach to managing the internet is similar: the government has built a gilded cage around the internet that will prove far more robust than its critics expect.”

From DigiCha