New Delhi, Jul 6: Even as India has gone ahead to ban 50 Chinese apps citing national security reasons, Internet censorship in China is a common thing as the government strictly monitors content due to which you cannot really access the world’s important websites and apps. The country’s effort has led to what has been called a “great firewall” for Chinese internet users. With time China has only tightened the noose and restricted certain IP addresses, filtering specific URLs, and keywords.
The Great Firewall of China is a result of legislative measures and technologies enforced by the government in order to track and censor all forms of domestic internet.
Under this regime, the government has control over which keywords can be searched and restrict popular memes like the “Winnie The Pooh” because users have compared the Chinese President, Xi Jinping to the popular cartoon bear. As a result of restrictions, many Chinese alternatives such as Baidu, Weibo, and others emerged as a successful option against those popular websites and apps.
Here are some of the known websites and apps that are blocked in China.
1. Google Products
(Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)
If you are not aware then China has banned Google services from YouTube to the basic search engine website. All the popular products from Google stable have been blocked in China since 2010 and are inaccessible till now so much so that you can’t access Google Maps if you are visiting China and have to rely on the local GPS services. It has banned the product in order to restrict the flow of content among its users. At the time of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the ban was imposed which continues even now. Google-owned video platform YouTube is also blocked in China and its rival Youku.com, a subsidiary of Alibaba, and Tencent Video has replaced it.
(Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)
The popular social networking site Facebook was blocked in China in 2009 after Xinjiang independence activists used the platform to stage protests in the country. Facebook is presently working on a censorship project for China in which a third party would be allowed to regulate on Facebook and control popular stories that come around. It will be a big effort from the largest social media platform to renter the country.
(Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)
The microblogging site Twitter has been blocked in China since 2009 and gave rise to Weibo, the alternative platform. It has also been reported that Chinese citizens in the past had to face the ire of the government and sent to one year in a labour camp for retweeting content deemed objectionable. Washington Post also reported in 2019 that state security officials would visit its users in China and order them to delete tweets or entire accounts.
(Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP)
Photo and video sharing platform Instagram was blocked by Chinese authorities when images of the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong started to appear on the platform. The government has feared that the pro-democracy posts related to Hong Kong may spill over on the platform impacting the public sentiments in the mainland.
(Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP)
The social networking and dating app Tinder has been banned and replaced with its clone Tantan. Launched in 2014, the app bears a high resemblance to the US’s Tinder and acquired by the Chinese social network Momo in February 2018.
Photo: AFP (Image used for representational purpose)
Are you aware that The New York Times, Washington Post, HuffPost, The Guardian, Daily Mail, are among several media platforms that are banned in the country? Yes, these websites are restricted to ensure that citizens are not influenced by any propaganda or news that is critical to their policies.