How Snowden’s revelations have influenced youngsters’ attitude and behaviour in the PRC and Taiwan

Kiyoshi Murata, Yasunori Fukuta, Andrew A. Adams, Dang Ronghua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: This study aims to investigate how Snowden’s revelations are viewed by young people in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan through questionnaire surveys of and follow-up interviews with university students in the two countries, taking into account the histories and current status of state surveillance in these countries and the current complicated and delicate cross-strait relationships. Design/methodology/approach: Questionnaire surveys of 315 PRC and 111 Taiwanese university students (a majority studying in those places but a few studying abroad) and semi-structured follow-up interviews with 16 master’s course students from the PRC and one from Taiwan (all studying at Meiji University in Japan) were conducted, in addition to reviews of the literature on privacy and state surveillance in the PRC and Taiwan. The outcomes of the survey were statistically analysed and qualitative analyses of the interview results were also performed. Findings: Youngsters living in the PRC had greater interest in and more knowledge about Snowden’s revelations than those living in Taiwan, and the revelations were positively evaluated in both countries as serving public interest. However, PRC students indicated they were less likely to emulate Snowden than those from Taiwan did. Originality/value: This study is the first attempt to investigate the social impact of Snowden’s revelations on PRC and Taiwanese youngsters’ attitudes towards privacy and state surveillance as part of cross-cultural analyses between eight countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-231
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017



  • China
  • Edward Snowden
  • Privacy
  • Social impact
  • Surveillance

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