top of page


From Iron Fist to Invisible Hand uses telecommunications policy as a window to examine major contradictions in China's growth as an economic and political superpower. 


This book provides six policy-focused case studies, each centered on a question with implications for telecome stakeholders, such as: Who is the regulator?Who are the regulated? Which foreigners can enter China, thereby regulating wholesale prices, setting consumer prices, and introducing Internet and innovative technologies? These cases explain the government's liberal and conservative approach toward reform, the policies that both promote and constrain business, and the major hurdles that lie ahead in telecommunications reform.


Dr. Wu is an expert on communications technology around the world, its international politics and global history.  Her newest book Forging Trust Communities:  How Technology Changes Politics examines how activists and governments both use technology to extend their power.

New from Irene S. Wu
The historical take on communications, technology, and international politics.
Forging Trust Communities:
How Technology Changes Politics
Johns Hopkins University, 2015  

China Forum #75: Social Media in China


China’s telecommunications revolution is a fascinating case study of market transformation, and this book successfully makes what can often be a technical and arcane topic an interesting study of market transition and development.
Roselyn Hsueh, Temple University


Irene S. Wu . . . examines China’s telecom policy through comparison with “global norms.” This approach is effective. [It] highlights China’s unique—and often contradictory—trajectory of reentry into the global economy in the field of telecommunications. 

Yu Hong, Muhlenberg College


To many Americans confronting Chinese censorship and overregulation of communication, the Chinese state’s actions may seem threatening, unconscionable, unique.  In Wu’s book, however, we see the Chinese acting in a more mundane fashion as sector regulators.

Mueller, Milton, Syracuse University

Wu’s assessment is quite sober. While impressed by ever-improving competition and regulation in the telecom market, she cautions that these progresses may not necessarily lead to political liberalization.

Huizhong Zhou, Western Michigan University

bottom of page