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China 2.0: The Transformation of an Emerging Superpower ... and the New Opportunities by Bruce W. Stening, Marina Yue Zhang

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Chapter 1

The China 2.0 Express Has Arrived

The term 2.0 in the title of our book comes from the increasingly used concept of Web 2.0, defined as a service-oriented architecture that encourages, explicitly or implicitly, human interactions and participation, through which knowledge and content are generated, disseminated, shared, and used over network applications. The success of Web 2.0 technologies is based fundamentally on what is known as network effects: the utility of a network rises as the number of users of the network increases. Initially, it was believed that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users. The success of Web 2.0, however, suggests that the intrinsic value of a network is much higher if it is used in a social fashion. In other words, the number of subgroups or communities within a network that have a high degree of interaction among users contributes more to the utility of the network than the sheer number of individual users of the network as a whole.

Technically, Web 2.0 is nothing new. It is more a new way of leveraging the fundamental strengths of the Web to turn applications into platforms that encourage users to interact with one another, exploiting the potency of network effects in a social mode, and taking advantage of networks as service architecture.1 Therefore, Web 2.0 is about people, not technology. The applications on Web 2.0 have been evolving constantly even though the backbone technology stays more or less ...

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