This thesis seeks to develop a nuanced appreciation of the ways in which Internet use by a small section of university students in China can be understood in relation to debates concerning political reform and democratisation in China. In particular the research aims to capture and understand the perspectives and experiences of a group of these Internet users in order to appreciate the extent to which democratisation as a process of transition, is occurring from their perspective. This chapter commences with an illustration of the core aims and objectives of the research, along with the rationale that lies behind them. It then provides a brief description of the historical and cultural background that contextualises the research topic. The third section identifies the limitations of the existing literature on the studies of the Internet’s influence in mainland China. Finally, the chapter sets out the structure and main components of the thesis in its entirety.