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.

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  • 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.

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March 21, 2007


Jim G.

BTW, I blogged about this a long time ago, I have also translated a full interview with the homeowner Mrs. Wuping. Very interesting read.


wow, it must be pretty hard to go shopping

Robert Collins

Great article...bunker


You could look at it and think, “China, what a mess.” But I tend to see it the other way. It shows that, despite the usual media stereotypes, China does have an element of people power, and there are good laws there that people can use in their struggle. And indeed it is a struggle- Beijing is a long way away, and there always a lot of government and capitalist thugs to get through to win your fight. But there is people power in China, and this is a very obvious physical demonstration of that.


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Hillary. A

What came to my attention, upon hearing this information on the radio, was that the Government was resticting any further images of this area (the "Nail House")to be published over the internet. The announcer mentioned the possibility that the media might bring this to the attention of more people than the government want it to be.
It's impressive to know that one person can make such a deal in the media. Imagine what would happen if this issue was carried on in different communities; if the media kept this up to our attention.


I agree Hillary. Images from Iraq have done a great deal to help sour public support for the "war". Its hard to supress these kidn of images, and a good thign to :)


Me parece muy bien que de una vez por todas se proteja la propiedad privada, y no ceda ante la presion de las grandes empresas ni del gobierno.
Saludos desde Argentina.


this is a dumb site


I heard that the lady in question wants an relaly silly sum of money in exchange for giving up her house. I have a feeling there is another side of this story that isnt being reported...


According to a transcript of an interview this woman has not demanded money at all, but just an equivalent sized property. The developers have consistently refused to give her a legal document with an official stamp on it, so she has been unable to rely on the unstamped document they were offering, because as she says - with no official stamp who would I go to to claim my equivalent poperty after they have demolished mine? I think the developers are used to swindling people who have no confidence to challenge them.


The situation is not that different here in Brooklyn, USA. Developers want to seize six homes that residents claim are part of the Underground Railroad of the Civil War era. The City has tried all sorts of tactics to discredit the residents.

It seems like the same story gets repeated over and over: "selfish and possibly crazy holdouts preventing progress."

In Downtown Brooklyn, developers want to destroy homes using eminent domain to build an underground parking lot.


I have finally got around to checking this out. I am wondering how this person, with such strength and character, is presently making out.

Is she still able to live here and has her settlement given her what, even under Chinese law, is her right - the right to have a replacement property where she now is - and hopefully with the same square footage.

However, it is important to note that the issues are the same world wide, even in a city like Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Here it is the poor that get displaced out of old neighborhoods that are being "revitalized" to accommodate new developments. In many cases the poor are not property owners but merely renters and thus have even fewer rights than this person in China.

Ashley Robbins

Ashley Robbins


can you please tell me about chnese traditions,chinese symbol or any other chinese crap.

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