The internet in China has incited great hopes and fears about the impacts this new medium of communication might have on society. In this thesis, I contend that neither the dystopic view nor the utopic view of how internet challenges the authoritarian rule in China helps us to understand the elaborate system of Chinese internet regulation and control. Instead, I argue, we need to contextualize the development of the Chinese internet against the the country’s political economy and in relation to how internet controls have been enabled through the legal environment and the participation and
coordination of state, private companies and users. The role of private internet companies is emphasized through the case study of Sina Weibo. Sina Weibo exemplifies how control is being delegated by the state to private internet companies in China writ large, thereby carving out a new type of regime of internet control and regulation.