3 Main Reasons Why the Chinese Government Blocks Popular Social Websites

Before we start, let’s find out which websites are being blocked by the Great FireWall of China (aka GFW): Google International, Blogger, Flickr, MySpace, YouTube, Plurk, Wikipedia, HotMail, MSN International, Live Search, Bing, Twitter, etc.

As a Chinese, I am very disappointed about the GFW. When I was in China, I could not even gain access to the Chinese version of Wikipedia to research on my school projects. There are still many Internet users out there who are not aware or puzzled why the Chinese government ‘loves’ blocking popular websites. Well, below are three main reasons why…

Reason 1: Competitions

Without blocking Google, Baidu cannot succeed. Without blocking Wikipedia, Hoodong cannot succeed. Without blocking Blogger, Blogcn cannot succeed. Without blocking YouTube, Youku cannot succeed. These huge International Internet Companies do not need to pay taxes to China Government, but the Internet Companies in China do pay taxes. The Chinese government wants to make more money, so and to boost their GDP. In addition, they want to “protect” China websites and hence blocking successful International websites.

Reason 2: Sensitive Contents

The main reason of blocking Blogger.com is that many people rant and post repugnant comments regarding the China Government on their Blogger hosted blogs. Of course the government does not want more people to know about this, especially readers outside mainland China as it will give them a negative impression about the country. With powers in their hands, they make use of the GFW to block it. In addition, the GFW is extremely sensitive when it comes to pornography contents. The reason of blocking Google International is that netizens in China can search pornography images via Google Images when the default setting of SafeSearch is off.

Reason 3: National Security

The government would not allow people to discuss about the various political parties or the government in those International Websites, because they do not have the ability to control them. Do not think that starting an Internet Company in China and creating websites is an easy task. If your website contains sensitive content, the Chinese authorities will not hesitate and demand you to remove the information at once; otherwise, your server will be confiscated for about 3 months. It is quite easy for them to control the Internet Media in China, but they are not able to touch the social web on an international level such as Facebook and Twitter.

These are the three major reasons of why the government blocks websites. Currently, the Chinese authorities can control all Chinese websites. If they notice any unsuitable content posted on the Internet, they can demand users to delete, or they just simply block it. Few months ago, there are some cases about blocking .CN domain names; even .CN domain names are dangerous under the governmental control.

It is quite strange for me to complain about my home country in this Singapore-based tech blog. My main objective today is to let everyone know that the Chinese government blocked websites not because of the Monopoly of ChinaLAN, but because of the taxes, contents and security. China is not as open and limits freedom of speech as compared to most Western countries. As a result, the Internet Life in China cannot be that wonderful, and I hope everyone can understand that blocking website is indeed the last resort to control the Internet in China.