News / Asia

China May (or May Not) Open Internet in Shanghai Free-Trade Zone

A man uses a computer at an internet cafe in central Beijing, China.A man uses a computer at an internet cafe in central Beijing, China.
x
A man uses a computer at an internet cafe in central Beijing, China.
A man uses a computer at an internet cafe in central Beijing, China.

Related Articles

Video China Tests New Free Trade Zone in Shanghai

Amid slowing economy, Beijing creates pilot project centered on domestic consumption and services - and away from manufacturing

Weibo Censors Move with Great Speed

Ninety percent of deletions happen within first 24 hours

Iran Plans Its Own Sanitized Internet with Chinese Help

Country trying to build a clean Internet, isolated from international Internet - but that is easier said than done
Is China planning to unblock Facebook, Twitter and the New York Times in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone or not? And, if they are going to, does it really matter?

A flurry of worldwide reports that China was planning to unblock the sites was kicked off Wednesday after the South China Morning Post reported Beijing was planning to make the sites accessible in the free zone.

The next day, Xinhua, the state media, quoted the People’s Daily as saying “The management measures over the Internet at the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone will be consistent with the rest of the country's.”

“I think something was probably happening, and someone thought they could tell the [South China Morning Post] reporter they would have an open Internet,” said Doug Young, a journalism professor at Fudan University in Shanghai and author of the book The Party Line: How the Media Dictates Public Opinion in Modern China. “It sounds like the issue wasn’t finally decided, and someone in Beijing probably saw it and said ‘no this is not going to happen.’”

Young doesn’t think it’s a big issue either way.

“The free-trade zone is small and accessible to people who can get anywhere on the net, whether or not they are in China or not,” he said.

Young says China has done targeted unblocking before.

For example, The Great Firewall has been lowered at the University of Macau's Guangdong campus, because it sits in a Special Administrative Zone.

Also, during the Beijing Olympics, China unblocked access to some sites only to reblock them after the games.

“They block and unblock,” said Young. “It’s all very strategic. It’s very focused. It doesn’t really lead to any major shift. If this policy [in Shanghai] is true, it’s probably a one off thing that’s very focused and targeted at a semi-elite group of people who already have access.”

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs