David Wertime | 24 June 2014 | Foreign Policy
Democracy, meet the smart phone. Starting June 20, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers have gone to virtual polls, infuriating Beijing. Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP), a protest group that advocates election of the nominally autonomous Chinese city’s chief executive via universal suffrage, held a combined online and offline vote on Hong Kong’s future from June 20 to 29 that OCLP claimed has drawn over 738,000 electronic ballots so far, most via mobile app. The electronic ballot, which requires entry of a Hong Kong ID number, phone number, and a confirmation the voter is a permanent resident, allows the choice between three revisions to Hong Kong election rules, rather than the current system that cedes significant power to industry groups called “functional constituencies,” which the mainland government supports. Chinese state media promptly went on the offensive against the nonbinding vote, but online response from mainlanders shows just how much of a stitch Beijing is in.