fredag 28. juni 2019

China’s Communist Party Is Making Its Own (Virtual) Reality

Zhongshan has never been a big city, at least by Chinese standards. The city, home to 3.1 million people, is overshadowed by its giant neighbor Shenzhen on the other side of the mouth of the Pearl River Delta. But that doesn’t matter to Zhongshan. It’s building its own alternate reality.

The local Zhongshan Communist Party branch is in possession of a toy not yet available to its big-city counterparts. Thanks to a multimillion-yuan agreement with Xijian (also called Seengene in English), China’s leading augmented reality start-up, Zhongshan’s apparatchik need no longer dread assigned readings of party ideology. After a cadre dons the RoboCop-like headset and opens the bright-red “Guidelines of the Chinese Communist Party,” select passages of text come alive—commands such as “the party rules all” burst out, with flowery backgrounds and moving animations to match.