Popular Websites Banned in China
A censorship project by the Chinese government still restricts a lot of websites and products/services to be viewed in China. Though its government has shown readiness to lift its restriction on some of the popular websites banned in China, a number of websites/apps especially from social media is still restricted by the Chinese people. Recently, a 14-year-old ban placed on Games Console was lifted.
Analysts say Beijing was particularly unnerved by the role social media played in the Arab Spring and the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran, leading to a blackout for the service.
Ever had a friend from China or a relation that traveled to China and you wish to communicate with them on Facebook or Twitter but you can’t seem to have access to them, maybe they have Facebook and Twitter accounts the last time you were with them and you use to communicate with them through those channels before they left for China, and you are wondering if they don’t have time for you again or deliberately ignoring your messages? Sorry about that, they are not ignoring you, they were only restricted from using these services and many others you are not even aware of.
Most of these companies are banned in China and recently, precisely on June 3, 2014, Google services were restricted in most parts of the Chinese territory which came ahead of the 25th anniversary of the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown, discussion of which is still strictly censored by the Chinese government.
Below are some of the companies that are stilled banned inside the Great Walls of China.
The social media platform is highly restricted in China’s territory.
Facebook access was available in China until 2009 when the light was turned out on the U.S. social media platform. The banning was rumored to be connected to riots that broke out in July of that year between Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese in the restive western region of Xinjiang.
Some analysts suspect local social media competitors might be connected to it considering the rising popularity of the social media platform in the continent.
The new boy among the social media was not left out as the Great Hammer of China landed on it also. Snapchat, which is increasing its popularity in the USA and many other parts of the world is a social media platform that allows users to share information like voice messaging, text messaging, images and videos and once the reader has opened the file, the information vanishes from the Snapchat database and also from the receiver’s gadget AFTER A SPECIFIC TIME FRAME.
WeChat, Whatsapp and Weibo are allowed in China and they all boast hundreds of millions of users. Facebook acquired WhatsApp recently for $19Billion.
A streaming video site owned by Google has long been restricted on Chinese soil. Streaming video sites like Sohu, Youku, and iQiyi are allowed and very popular in the country.
Foreign films are regulated to the barest minimum in the country. Only 34 foreign movies are allowed to be shown in theaters per year amounting to at most 3 movies monthly.
Even the foreign films that are approved still face heavy government censorship and are immediately withdrawn if considered offensive.
Despite the commercial advantage, it gives them, Chinese filmmakers are likely to continue to bump heads with Beijing over censorship.
Another surprise on the list is gambling sites and casinos. Gambling was banned in China in 1949, and casinos are not allowed to operate in China. Yet many Chinese have an inclination toward games of chance, a tradition that dates back thousands of years.
Though this ban has not been so effective as that on social media platforms. It has been found that some rich entrepreneurial Chinese still set up and run underground gambling and private lotteries.
A lot of websites in the social media and pornography categories are not allowed in China. Websites that are about pornography or advertise +18 or any sensitive content are banned.
Censors also prohibit Internet users from visiting sites that criticize the Communist Party or address sensitive issues such as human rights.
The censorship project which was named after the Great Wall of China was dubbed the Great Firewall of China. Once you are inside the Great Walls of China, you can’t access these forbidden sites except when using a dedicated VPN or secure proxy.
Before any book is published or allowed into China, China’s General Administration of Press and Publication would have screened it and if found provocative or too sensitive, cannot be allowed to be published or sold in China.
Publishers that skirt the rules are quickly shut down, leaving authors with a choice to either agree to censorship or forfeit access to 1.4 billion potential readers.
Most books found in the territory that is so rated sensitive or provocative by the Columnist party are smuggled from China’s neighboring countries where readers are of liberty to read whatever they choose to read.
These and many more services and websites are banned in China by the columnist government.