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People's Republic of China marks birthday online

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-09-30

In this edition: Chinese Web users are all abuzz ahead of the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China; the celebrations contrast with the sombre mood in France where a wave of suicides at France Telecom has generated strong reactions.

China: 60 years of the people's republic


On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China the web is in a fever of excitement. While a section of the Chinese web welcomes the national holiday, dissidents of the regime attempt to express their opposition.


Most national web portals are already celebrating the anniversary. Many sites are displaying photos of party preparations and look back on the people and events that have marked the last 60 years.

On Youtube, several documentaries including this one in three parts retrace the history of China from 1949 to today. Here, it is the country’s diplomacy which is sifted through.

Some net users paid an imaginative tribute to their nation. This artist created an animation to celebrate the highlights of the history of the People’s Republic. While Chinese truck drivers posted online this video of a truck horn rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’.

Even wackier is this video showing how some citizens are ready to sport particularly original hairstyles for the occasion.

But apart from the preparations, online censorship has been stepped up, as recalled by this Twitter user.

Some attempt to by-pass the censorship. Several sites such as these offer tricks to net users to help them access social networks in particular. They are advised to use software which hides the user’s IP address in order to navigate online freely. 


Suicides at France Telecom


A France Telecom employee took his own life on Monday morning, bringing the number of suicides within the company up to twenty four since February 2008. A situation generating strong reactions from the blogosphere.


This French man has broadcasted on his site this video entitled, ‘the employees of fear’, in which he explains how this wave of suicides is not at all surprising. He asserts that many employees in France and abroad, exhausted by infernal working rhythms, no longer see a point to it all and thus envisage radical solutions. 


This net user expresses his exasperation. He urges French employees to make a show of solidarity and to rally to end a situation which he deems intolerable. 

Others criticise comments made by the company’s managers. This angry blogger recalls that the CEO of France Telecom described recent events as a ‘suicide fashion’. Words the blogger describes as entirely unacceptable.

Finally this artist has made a sketch which he has posted on the web in this video. A drawing which illustrates his point of view about the current atmosphere at France Telecom.



A platform devoted to film extracts has been launched. Over 7,000 extracts from films such as Waltz with Bachir, by Ari Folman, The big Lebowski by the Cohen brothers and The Shining, by Stanley Kubrick are listed and classified on Vodkaster. Free and legal, the site has already signed agreements with the rights holders of several hundred films. The cinema’s most famous arguments, the most romantic scenes and the most death defying car chases are now just a click away.



SMeet is launching a French platform. This 3D virtual world is directly accessible via browsers. Users can log on using Facebook Connect, personalise their avatar, meet new people, share videos and attend events. With one million users in Germany, Spain and the UK, it remains to be seen if SMeet will enjoy the same success in France.


Video of the day


Here is the video currently creating an online buzz. We see a little girl walking on the pavement of an American car park before an out of control car comes racing towards her. Luckily for the little girl, the vehicle hits a post which scoops it up and carries it over the head of the girl who is left uninjured. Simply incredible images.



Date created : 2009-09-30