Unit 4 Overview: How Science and Technology Affect Our Lives

7 min readjanuary 3, 2023



AP Chinese 🇨🇳

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Welcome to the AP Chinese Unit 4 Overview! In this unit, we will explore the ways in which science and technology have impacted our lives and continue to shape the world around us. From the invention of the wheel to the development of the internet, science and technology have played a crucial role in shaping human history and will continue to do so in the future. We will examine the various ways in which science and technology have affected our daily lives, as well as their potential consequences and ethical considerations. Through this unit, we will gain a deeper understanding of the role that science and technology play in our world and how they will continue to shape our future.

Unit 4 Essential Questions

STUDY TIP: Use the following essential questions to guide your review of this entire unit. Keep in mind, these are not meant to be practice essay questions. Each question was written to help you summarize the key concept.
As you work through this unit, think about these questions:
  1. How has science and technology impacted our daily lives? (科学技术是如何影响我们的日常生活?)
  2. In what ways have advances in science and technology contributed to social and cultural changes? (在哪些方面,科学技术的发展对社会和文化的改变有贡献?)
  3. How have cultural and societal values influenced the direction of scientific and technological developments? (科学技术的发展在哪些方面对社会和文化的改变有贡献?)

Past Free-Response Questions from Unit 4 Overview: How Science and Technology Affect Our Lives

Note: Many free-response questions draw from information and vocabulary from multiple units and don’t fit neatly into one unit only. You will likely see them in other unit overviews as well.

Presentational Writing: Story Narration

Interpersonal Writing: Email Response

Interpersonal Speaking: Conversation

Presentational Speaking: Cultural Presentation

4.1 China’s Advancements in Science and Technology

  • China has a large high-speed rail network, with over 35,000 kilometers of track
  • The Tiangong space laboratory program was launched in 2011 and has been used to conduct microgravity experiments
  • China is also a leader in the development of advanced materials, with a focus on materials for use in energy storage, transportation, and healthcare
  • Some of China's leading AI companies include Baidu (百度 bǎidù), which is known for its search engine and AI research, and Tencent (腾讯 téngxùn), which is a leading provider of internet services and has made significant investments in AI research.
  • Quantum computing (量子计算 liàngzǐ jìsuàn) is a new field of computing that uses quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform operations on data. Quantum computers have the potential to perform certain types of calculations much faster than classical computers, and they could be used to solve problems that are currently considered impractical or impossible to solve.
  • Some of China's key achievements in quantum computing include the development of the world's first quantum satellite (量子卫星 liàngzǐ wèixīng), which was launched in 2016, and the development of a quantum computer that achieved quantum supremacy (量子优势 liàngzǐ yōushì), a state in which a quantum computer can perform certain tasks faster than a classical computer, in 2020.
  • Some of China's key achievements in advanced materials include the development of graphene (石墨烯 shímò xī), a two-dimensional material with a wide range of unique properties, and the development of high-performance lithium-ion batteries (锂离子电池 lǐ lízǐ diànchí), which are used in a variety of electronic devices.

4.2 Health-Related Challenges in China

  • China has a large and complex healthcare system that includes both public and private providers, with the public system funded by the government and providing basic services at a low cost
  • There are concerns about the cost, quality, access, and insurance coverage of healthcare in China, particularly in rural areas
  • Mental health care in China is also a significant issue, with a high prevalence of mental health problems and a stigma surrounding seeking help and treatment
  • China's "zero-covid" policy aims to eliminate the spread of COVID-19 within its borders and includes measures such as quarantines, travel restrictions, and vaccine distribution
  • The impacts of COVID-19 on China's healthcare system have included an increase in demand for healthcare services, a strain on resources, and challenges in treating and caring for patients with COVID-19
  • China is working to address these challenges and improve its healthcare system through initiatives such as the Healthy China 2030 plan, which aims to improve access, quality, and affordability of healthcare services.
  • Technology has improved healthcare in China through the use of electronic medical records, telemedicine, and wearable health monitoring devices
  • Non-communicable diseases, including cancer and heart disease, are major health challenges in China
  • The aging population in China presents challenges in caring for elderly citizens and maintaining a sufficient healthcare workforce
  • Environmental factors, including pollution and food safety, impact the health of the Chinese population

4.3 Technology in Contemporary Chinese Life

  • Chinese museums have adopted technology to make their exhibitions more interactive and accessible to visitors, including using audio guides, online resources, social media, and digital ticketing and payment systems.
  • Some Chinese museums have also used VR and AR technology to create immersive exhibits, such as virtual tours of ancient Chinese cities and landscapes.
  • Use of technology in the workplace: Technology has transformed the way that many people work in China, including virtual meetings, and remote work.
  • Impact of technology on education in China: Technology has been used to improve education in China, including the use of online learning platforms, MOOCs, and AI-powered tutoring systems.
  • Technology has transformed everyday life for many people in China, including in the areas of online banking, ride-sharing, delivery services, and online shopping.
  • Impact of technology on healthcare in China: Technology has been used to improve healthcare in China, including the use of electronic medical records, telemedicine, and wearable health monitoring devices.
  • Impact of technology on transportation in China: Technology has transformed transportation in China, including the use of high-speed rail, electric and autonomous vehicles, and the development of smart cities.
  • Online banking in China is popular due to the convenience and efficiency of mobile banking apps like Alipay and WeChat Pay, which allow users to check account balances, make payments, and transfer money.
  • Ride-sharing services like Didi and Uber have become popular in China, allowing people to easily book and pay for rides through smartphone apps.
  • Delivery services like Alibaba's Cainiao and JD.com have made it easier for people to shop online and have packages delivered to their homes.
  • Online shopping has become popular in China due to the convenience and variety of products available through platforms like Taobao and JD.com.
  • Technology has also impacted the way that people communicate in China, with messaging apps like WeChat and QQ becoming popular for both personal and business communication.
  • The internet and social media have also allowed people in China to access information and connect with others in ways that were not possible before.

4.4 The Impact of Social Media in China

  • China has some of the largest and most influential social media platforms in the world (including WeChat, Douyin, Weibo, QQ, Kuaishou, and Zhihu) that have had a significant impact on communication, commerce, and society in the country.
  • WeChat has over 1 billion monthly active users and is used for messaging, social networking, and making online payments through WeChat Pay
  • WeChat has facilitated the growth of mobile commerce in China and changed the way people shop and pay for things
  • WeChat has replaced traditional forms of communication for many people in China and has become the primary way for people to stay in touch
  • Douyin is a popular short video app in China with over 600 million daily active users
  • QQ is a messaging app with over 900 million active users and is used for messaging, voice and video calls, and social networking
  • Kuaishou is a short video app popular among rural and lower-income users in China
  • Zhihu is a question-and-answer platform with over 300 million users and is used for asking and answering questions on a range of topics
  • Controversies surrounding Chinese social media apps include censorship and data privacy issues, the spread of misinformation, and the impact of addictive technology on society
  • Chinese social media apps have faced criticism and controversy over issues such as censorship, data privacy, and the spread of misinformation.
  • The Chinese government has implemented a range of measures to regulate social media, including the use of algorithms to censor content and the requirement for platforms to implement real-name registration systems.

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