The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

“Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend”: Web Engineering in the Chinese Context

O'Hara, Kieron (2009) “Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend”: Web Engineering in the Chinese Context In, Zhang, Xiaoling and Zheng, Yongnian (eds.) China's Information and Communications Technology Revolution: Social changes and state responses. Routledge

Record type: Book Section


The revolutionary aspect of the World Wide Web is that it is a decentralised information structure. This democratic decentralisation is a key factor in the added value that the Web provides, because it facilitates the serendipitous reuse of information in new and unanticipated contexts. However its basic principle, of free flow of information packets and a very simple set of rules and standards underpinning these complex structures, is being undermined by attempts to restrict information flow. As use of the Web has spread, illiberal regimes feel threatened, but thanks to the hands-off approach of the 1990s, there are no affirmative globally-recognised principles governing the flow of information online. Currently, China is still focusing on a censorship-based approach to information control, using methods in direct opposition to the Web’s essential governing principle of decentralisation. This paper examines some of the questions for engineering and policy of that clash of principles.

PDF ohara_web_engineering_china.pdf - Other
Download (139kB)

More information

Published date: 2009
Keywords: China, Web Science, Web engineering, liberalism, censorship, history of the WWW, history of the Internet
Organisations: Web & Internet Science


Local EPrints ID: 267189
ISBN: 978-0-415-46230-3
PURE UUID: fdafc9d8-551d-43b4-8813-a5f636cb067e

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Mar 2009 14:08
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 07:07

Export record


Author: Kieron O'Hara
Editor: Xiaoling Zhang
Editor: Yongnian Zheng

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.