In the year 2010, China shut down many popular websites under the country’s policy of internet censorship. Though it recently let some sites such as LinkedIn comeback online, there are still many popular websites ranging from social sites to search engines that are still blocked from regular access in that country. Here is a list of some of the websites blocked in China:
Search Engines – Both Google and majority of its local versions, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, and foreign versions of the Chinese Baidu are blocked.
Social sites – Some of the major social sites include Facebook, Instagram, Goodgle+, Flickr, Snapchat, Tumbler, Picasa, Sound cloud, Hootsuite, Blogger, and Blogspot, and Twitter which its place has been taken by China’s version of Twitter, Weibo that has risen to be one of the most used apps in the country.
Apps – Also, people are not able to download anything from apps like Google play, Line, and Kakao Talk.
Media – The major media websites banned in China include YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix, Wiki leaks, The New York Times, The Economist Bloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal.
Work Tools – Blocked work tools include Google Drive, Drop box, iStockphotos, Android, Gmail, Google Calendar, Scribd, and Xing.
In general, all Google services and also porn websites have been blocked. There are also websites that have been partially blocked for example several pages of Wikipedia are blocked. Some go on and off while others like Skype are extremely slow that you can’t make a call. Though this list of websites blocked in China is not exhaustive, the situation keeps changing constantly. This means a site may be working today and not work tomorrow and vice versa.
So What Are The Reasons For The Chinese Government Blocking Popular Websites?
This system, The Great Firewall of China, was developed by the Ministry of Public Security as a way of controlling access to websites that the Chinese government consider dangerous to its citizens. Some of the major reasons for this ban include:
Sensitive Contents – People use platforms such as blogs to rant and post things regarding their country. Due to this, the Chinese blocks blog websites such as Blogger.com to prevent people from posting on them things that let people outside the country know what is going on in the country as it may give them a negative impression of the country.
National security – The main reason of China blocking international internet companies is to control the internet media in China. When they do this, people are not able to discuss about the government or political parties in international websites. Thus, by doing this they are able to control what is being posted on websites for example if they notice sensitive content on your website they will demand removal of it or otherwise confiscate your server.
Competitions – One of the major reasons for this ban is to prevent the huge international internet companies from overshadowing the Chinese websites. This is because unlike the International internet websites, the internet websites in China do pay taxes to the Chinese government and therefore they block successful international websites for the Chinese websites to succeed.