‘Watching People Become Citizens’: Clubhouse’s Brief Run in China

Residents taking the ferry stand near a Chinese national flag in Wuhan, China, Jan. 15, 2021 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).
Residents taking the ferry stand near a Chinese national flag in Wuhan, China, Jan. 15, 2021 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).
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Sometimes springtime comes and goes in a flash. That’s the way things felt early this month, when people who follow China were left agog at the extraordinary flourishing of discussion on Clubhouse, the young but fast-growing app that combines social media with audio chat. Though available in China since last spring, Clubhouse saw a spike in interest after a widely noted appearance by Elon Musk, a big celebrity in China, on Jan. 31. Still flying under the radar of authorities in Beijing, the app allowed Chinese users to join up with people from all over the world in mostly calm […]

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