When the Internet first came out, China thought it could be a wonderful thing, but soon they realized that the Internet is uncontrollable. It has easily given power to an individual to become limitless with information, and has opened a new medium of communication that entails free flow of thoughts and ideas.
There are several reasons why China has blocked many of the websites. Some of the reasons are like:
- Social Control – The Internet has become the best platform for freedom of speech, it creates a wide and fast information outflow, and basically, the Chinese Government doesn’t like being unable to take a grip of control on spreading of messages that could possibly lead to protests that can eliminate the Chinese government.
- Sensitive Content – The Internet has a vast amount of data they wish to hide including immense information about the dark history of China, Chinese government criticisms and also pornography.
- Economic Protectionism – Economically, China prefers local companies that stick to their regulations, hence often set restrictions on foreign companies to protect their local firms.
Here is a list of some popular websites that are blocked in China and they are like:
- Google – In 2010, Google had a argument with China over internet censorship in the country. The government basically wanted Google to filter search results, but Google refused because they stand for freedom of information. Initially, Google started sending all search inquiries from Google.cn to Google.com.hk to avoid China’s censorships. Years later, Google search, Gmail, Google Maps, and other Google services became completely inaccessible.
- Youtube – China seems to hate competition so much it blocked the most popular streaming site Youtube to make way for the own homegrown site called Youku. Youku basically works like Youtube, only it is fully kept updated by the Chinese government and has a full control of the contents.
- Facebook – Facebook was blocked mainly because Chinese officials wanted to prevent leak of vast Chinese customer data. In addition, there is simply too many fake news or information found in Facebook. Lastly, China has their own versions of social media called WeChat, Weibo & Renren.
- Blogging Platforms (WordPress, Blogspot, Blogger, Tumblr) – With these free blogging platforms, anyone could voice out anything, even something that could be harmful to China’s strict rule, hence these websites were blocked to avoid criticizing voices of people against the Chinese government.
- Porn sites – China blocked almost all porn sites for the same reason why it is banned in other countries: to prevent all kinds of perversions and to protect children and the image of femininity.
- The pirate bay – The pirate bay is the most popular niche for torrents and as this website promotes piracy and has sensitive contents, it has been blocked by China.
- VPNs – A VPN or Virtual Private Network is basically the long-standing rival of the Great Firewall of China. It basically exposes the Internet censorship and gives the people access to the blocked sites. Of course, China made their ways to block certain VPN providers like Open VPN, Strong VPN and Pure VPN. But then, this censorship is a hard battle to fight as there still are numerous VPN providers in the web that accessible and perfectly working.