Feeds

China ready to unblock access to Facebook, Twitter et al

Will only unbrick Great Firewall in Shanghai trade zone, say reports

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Chinese government may have finally relented in allowing unfettered access to previously blocked sites such as Facebook and Twitter, but only for users within the newly-created 28km2 Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

Anonymous government sources told Hong Kong newspaper The South China Morning Post that senior leaders in Beijing had also decided to allow foreign telecoms firms to compete with the three state run Chinese giants to supply internet services inside the zone.

“In order to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free-trade zone, we must think about how we can make them feel like at home,” one government source told the paper.

“If they can’t get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China.”

The Shanghai Free Trade Zone, backed by premier Li Keqiang, is an attempt by the new administration to further open up China’s economy to international trade.

Likened to former leader Deng Xiaoping’s creation of Special Economic Zones in the 1980s, the move could see a relaxing of the rules around direct foreign investment and help open up the yuan to international markets.

Facebook and Twitter have been banned in China since 2009, while other sites like the New York Times have since been blocked by the Great Firewall after publishing articles critical of Beijing.

Google, meanwhile, decide to relocate its search servers to Hong Kong after the fall-out over the Operation Aurora hacks and many of its services are blocked or rendered unusable by the Great Firewall.

As a result, foreign workers in China have to resort to VPNs to access an unfettered internet, which can slow speeds further.

There’s no indication that the decision to unblock certain sites in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone would spread to the rest of the country, however.

Online freedoms in the Middle Kingdom are being squeezed like never before, with the latest push by the Party to threaten jail time for anyone caught posting online “rumours” on their microblogs.

A 16-year old boy was arrested last week and held for seven days for the crime of “provoking trouble” by alleging police corruption.

It should also be remembered that the Shanghai zone is still only a pilot project and, as has been demonstrated numerous times in the past, the Communist Party will revert to type if the decision is seen to threaten social stability. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.