Internet Policy Observatory affiliate Sarah Logan investigates the international expansion of one of China’s biggest internet technology companies, Baidu, using Baidu’s recent attempted expansion into Vietnam as a test case and taking a mixed methods approach. The paper first outlines Baidu’s role in Chinese information control practices and then turns to the company’s 2012 expansion into Vietnam, examining Baidu’s puzzling failure in the Vietnamese market despite the historically strong relationship between Vietnam and China.
This paper contributes a new area of research on the geopolitical associations of internet technology platforms to existing studies of the social, political implication of information technology. It adds to studies of the state in cyberspace by showing that, at least for Chinese companies in Vietnam, the state is embodied in perceptions of the platform, even outside the state’s physical borders: the company itself is ‘bordered.’
This report was produced as part of the Internet Policy Observatory project. To read more, click here.Download PDF