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SXSW 2021

Behind China’s Great Firewall: Tech, Culture, & UX

What would your life be like without Google or Facebook?
The Great Firewall has forced China's tech ecosystem to evolve without the influence of tech giants we interact with daily. Conglomerates like Tencent & Alibaba have chosen successful global services and retrofitted them to the Chinese audience. What began as copy-cats have morphed into huge "super apps" that function like operating systems. Call a car, order food, do your laundry, and more - all in one app.
In this presentation, we'll explore how Chinese culture and government influence have affected UX and design trends within China. See how apps break western design conventions, learn how these apps have influenced China's COVID-19 response, and get a glimpse of e-commerce and entertainment within this parallel tech universe.

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  1. China is known for its censorship of most global products and apps. How has the tech ecosystem in China evolved within that vacuum?
  2. How do Chinese cultural habits affect UX behavior in China? How have they affected China's response to the Covid-19 Pandemic?
  3. What does this mean for design and tech innovation in China? How does this affect global brands and technology, especially in e-commerce?


  • Jessica Shen, Experience Design Director, RGA


Jessica Shen, Experience Design Director, RGA

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