Online political satire is an important aspect of Chinese Internet culture and politics. Current scholarship focuses on its contents and views it primarily from the perspective of resistance. By reconceptualizing online political satire as a networked practice, this article shifts the focus of analysis from contents to practice. Five types of networked practices of online political satire are identified and analyzed. Practices which mainly fulfill social functions are referred to as ritual satire and distinguished from explicitly political practices. The article thus shows that online political satire has multiple meanings and uses. Its proliferation in Chinese digital spaces results from the complex and interlocked conditions of politics, technology, history, and culture.
Published in Volume 77, Issue 3, pages 215–231