Min Jiang, at the Department of Communication, Purdue University, has written an information-packed dissertation on the potential and limits of e-government efforts on 30 different provincial Chinese government websites.
The study analyzes four major modes of e-consultation on Chinese
e-governments: Q&A with government, e-petition (or online
Xinfang), online opinion polls, and citizen input boxes. Min Jiang writes:
It appears that putting information online is a major goal for the provinces. On the one hand, the state adapts to the new media environment for continued domination (Kluver & Qiu, 2003; Tsui, 2003). While on the other, online disclosure of previously guarded government information and transaction such as bidding, housing, and health helps to build accountability and efficiency in China’s modern bureaucracy. (p. 16)
With the rise of government networks, the state has consolidated its propaganda in cyberspace. The “symbolic environment” that the CCP promotes for citizens to accept the state’s legitimacy (Lynch, 1999) has morphed to incorporate certain features of “transparency, service, and democracy”, though practice lags far behind slogans. (p. 17)