About Virtual China

    Virtual China is an exploration of virtual experiences and environments in and about China. The topic is also the primary research area for the Institute for the Future's Asia Focus Program in 2006. IFTF is an independent, nonprofit strategic research group with more than 35 years of forecasting experience based in Palo Alto, CA.
    Lyn Jeffery is a cultural anthropologist and Research Director at the Insitute for the Future, where she leads its Asia Focus Program.
    Jason Li is currently a design research intern at Adaptive Path. He previously worked at IFTF & Microsoft Research Asia, and recently graduated from Brown University.
    Nan Yang is a freelancer in Shanghai whose many projects include part-time Mandarin teacher at MandarinShanghai.com, assistant for Eric Eldred from Creative Commons, translating manager for gOFFICE, translator for MeMedia, member of Social Brain Foundation, and author of 1idea1day.com. She is also passionate to take part in small and innovative seminars in Shanghai.

About Asia Focus

  • In response to the great need for foresight about Asia, IFTF has launched the Asia Focus Program. Asia Focus research topics are large-scale, under-explored areas from which unexpected futures will emerge. It is part of IFTF's flagship program, the Ten-Year Forecast Program, which provides a broad scan of the environment and is a leading source of foresight for a vangard of business, government, and nonprofit organizations.

About the Institute for the Future

IFTF del.icio.us links on China

Blog powered by Typepad

« Young Tibetans on the internet | Main | cyberChina business models may look strange on Wall Street »

June 22, 2006



It looks pretty nice, actually!

Suzanne Thomas

We've been looking at PRC urban and rural NetBars (or internet bars or wangba) for the last few months. They range from quite fancy (like this one) to pretty ragtag. However, from our findings, all aim for fairly new equipment, certainly much nicer than what we see in many school e-classrooms (especially rural schools).

Curious what you are seeing about how people play games in these spaces. What are the shared activities? When? When is going to a NetBar an individual activity? How do the customers navigate personal, shared, public experiences both on- and off-line?

Jason Li

I sadly didn't stay long, so I have but one insight to share: I hadn't expected there to be teenagers spending their Sunday afternoon's sitting alone in a netbar, smoking a cigarette, legs propped on the chair next to them, watching some sort of tv-drama. Granted, there were way more gamers, but it does suggest that the netbar is a place to spend some individual "idle time".

Jason Li

E-classroom sidenote: For one of MSRA's distance education projects we visited a dirt-roads-esque rural school that rented a computer from the nearby netbar for 2 yuan an hour. (However, it may have been a one time deal because they were told beforehand that we'd come with someone from the Tsinghua dist-ed project.)

Still, a funny reversal of tech because this way, the rented computer was much better than the old "Legend" computers at more upscale schools.

Suzanne Thomas

In general, the PCs in internet bars are several grades better than what schools get through their government (and other) channels. As far as we can see, students look to internet bars to determine what kind of computer they might want to buy. School PCs are seen as old, slow and for the most part broken.

The PCs in internet bars are also renewed on a regular basis (every 1.7 years on average) whereas schools may hold onto PCs for years. Again, not a plus for the quality of PCs in schools.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search Virtual China

July 2009

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31