Daya Thussu explores the exponential growth of digital communication in India and China, the significance of the rise of Asian countries for the exchange of globalised media products, and its implications for digital dialogue amidst a new global communication order.
In the dynamic and digitised 24/7 globalised multi-media age, the one-way vertical flow of media and communication products – from the West to the Rest – has given way to multiple and horizontal flows, in which Asian countries play an increasingly significant role. While acknowledging that global media and communication continue to be dominated by the West in terms of volume and value, with the US at its core, in Asia, particularly its two biggest countries China and India, there has been exponential growth in digital media and communication, which have had massive impact on economic and social development. Apart from being the world’s two most populous countries and fastest growing large economies, China and India are both civilisational powers, with old and distinctive cultures and aspirations for a greater role in a ‘post-American world’. The international presence of ideas and images from the two countries expands the nature of the digital dialogue about models for future global developments. The potential for digital communication and dialogue between these civilisations will grow exponentially with the growing convergence of mobile communications technologies and content via an altered and multi-lingual internet. Already, China is the world’s largest user of the internet, followed by India, which surpassed the US in 2015 to become the world’s second largest user. Given the scope and scale of change in China and India, a new global communication order may be evolving for the digital age, within which new models for the future can be shared.
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