Chinese Government Increasingly Interested In Public Opinion Data

Customers look at his mobile devices near the Funiutang beef noodle restaurant displaying portraits of former Communist leaders including Karl Marx and Mao Zedong to promote their food in Beijing on Sunday, July 3, 2016. In a televised speech on the 95th anniversary of the party's formation on July 1, 2016, Chinese president Xi Jinping has urged the 88-million-strong Communist Party to embrace its Marxist roots as he delivered an emphatic call for ideological discipline and a vigorous defense of party rule.
Customers look at his mobile devices near the Funiutang beef noodle restaurant displaying portraits of former Communist leaders including Karl Marx and Mao Zedong to promote their food in Beijing. In a televised speech on the 95th anniversary of the party's formation on July 1, 2016, Chinese president Xi Jinping has urged the 88-million-strong Communist Party to embrace its Marxist roots as he delivered an emphatic call for ideological discipline and a vigorous defense of party rule. Ng Han Guan / AP Photo
Customers look at his mobile devices near the Funiutang beef noodle restaurant displaying portraits of former Communist leaders including Karl Marx and Mao Zedong to promote their food in Beijing on Sunday, July 3, 2016. In a televised speech on the 95th anniversary of the party's formation on July 1, 2016, Chinese president Xi Jinping has urged the 88-million-strong Communist Party to embrace its Marxist roots as he delivered an emphatic call for ideological discipline and a vigorous defense of party rule.
Customers look at his mobile devices near the Funiutang beef noodle restaurant displaying portraits of former Communist leaders including Karl Marx and Mao Zedong to promote their food in Beijing. In a televised speech on the 95th anniversary of the party's formation on July 1, 2016, Chinese president Xi Jinping has urged the 88-million-strong Communist Party to embrace its Marxist roots as he delivered an emphatic call for ideological discipline and a vigorous defense of party rule. Ng Han Guan / AP Photo

Chinese Government Increasingly Interested In Public Opinion Data

The Chinese government is known for its tight control of news and information, often restricting access to internet sites and monitoring people’s behavior online. But in recent years the government has also turned increasingly to a western tool for gauging what its citizens think: public opinion polls. 

Dr. Victor Yuan, chairman of Dataway Horizon, has conducted many of these polls--from how the Chinese see income disparity to the “Chinese Dream.” Yuan is also the Dr. Scholl Foundation Visiting Fellow on US-China Relations at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and joins us to talk about his work.