People in China use Gmail

EU companies complain about internet censorship that is damaging to business in China

China

It is a paradox: 300 million people in China use the Internet - but only a fraction of the people know about censorship. The government uses various methods for this. Filters are used as well as spying and intimidation. In addition to pornographic sites, the government bans appearances by religious and political groups that the government regards as 'harmful'. Well-known news sites such as the BBC or social media portals such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are also not accessible. Now China is tightening the censorship and expanding the blockades to several Internet sites. The large provider of cloud services, Edgecast, admitted in a press release on November 18 that many of its services have recently become unavailable or only available to a limited extent from China. Greatfire.org censorship experts described the move as an "attempt to cut China off from the global Internet." The organization had denounced on several occasions that China's censorship apparatus was operating more and more sophisticated. In some cases, access to international websites is deliberately slowed down in order to make them unusable for Chinese users. China's internet has been tightly controlled for years. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter as well as Youtube or websites of human rights organizations and foreign media such as the “New York Times” or the Bloomberg news agency cannot be accessed from China. This year, China had already extended the locks. Shortly before the 25th anniversary of the Beijing massacre in June, access to all Google services in China such as search, Gmail, Maps and the photo platform Picasa was blocked for the first time.


Image: REUTERS