Facebook Tests Way Into China Via Secret Photo—Sharing App

Yuan Yang
Financial Times
A photo—sharing app has appeared on Apple’s App Store in China that looks exactly like Facebook’s Moments app, and analysts say it may be a way for the US tech group to finally break into its most coveted market.

Facebook’s Secret Chinese App Is a Dud in China So Far

Quartz
Over the weekend the New York Times reported (paywall) that Facebook had stealthily released a photo-sharing app in the Chinese iOS App Store translated as “Colorful Balloons.” The news spread rapidly around English-language media, as it marked the...

Joining Apple, Amazon’s China Cloud Service Bows to Censors

Paul Mozur
New York Times
Days after Apple yanked anti-censorship tools off its app store in China, another major American technology company is moving to implement the country’s tough restrictions on online content.

A Crackdown on Unfettered Internet Access Is Jeopardizing China’s Pro-Business Credentials

Charlie Campbell
Time
Another big political meeting, another crackdown on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)—the location-shifting software many in China use to access websites banned by its government, such as Facebook, YouTube and Google.

Apple ‘Pulls 60 VPNs from China App Store’

BBC
The BBC understands that as many as 60 VPNs were pulled over the weekend. Apple said it was legally required to remove them because they did not comply with new regulations. It refused to confirm the exact number of apps withdrawn, but did not deny...

China Clamping down on Use of VPNs to Evade Great Firewall

CNBC
China is tightening control over foreign companies’ internet use in a move some worry might disrupt their operations or jeopardize trade secrets as part of a crackdown on technology that allows web surfers to evade Beijing’s online censorship.

Why China Censors Banned Winnie the Pooh

BBC
The blocking of Winnie the Pooh might seem like a bizarre move by the Chinese authorities but it is part of a struggle to restrict clever bloggers from getting around their country’s censorship.

Online Gossip Clampdown in China Leads to Netizen Outcry

Yuan Yang, Yingzhi Yang
Financial Times
Chinese netizens have decried a government campaign to shut down many of the nation's top celebrity gossip outlets as Beijing escalates its control over online content...

Sinica Podcast

05.12.17

What It Takes to Be a Good China-Watcher

Kaiser Kuo & Bill Bishop from Sinica Podcast
China-watching isn’t what it used to be. Not too long ago, the field of international China studies was dominated by a few male Westerners with an encyclopedic knowledge of China, but with surprisingly little experience living in the country or...

Conversation

05.09.17

Can China’s Approach to Internet Control Spread around the World?

Anne Henochowicz, Rogier Creemers & more
Earlier this month, citing concerns over “cyber sovereignty,” China’s Internet regulators announced new restrictions on the country’s already tightly controlled Internet—further curbing online news reporting and putting Party-appointed editors in...

China Compiles Its Own ‘Wikipedia,’ but Public Can’t Edit It

LOUISE WATT
Seattle Times
It’ll be free. It’ll be uniquely Chinese. It’ll be an online encyclopedia to rival Wikipedia — but without the participation of the public. And don’t expect entries on “Tiananmen Square 1989” or “Falun Gong spiritual group” to come up in your...

China, EU Push Message of Free Trade, Engagement

ABC
Top diplomats from China and the European Union pledged closer cooperation Wednesday, highlighting their common interests in peace and security and pushing a message of free trade and open engagement in contrast to fears that the U.S. is turning...

The New York Times vs. the ‘Great Firewall’ of China

Craig S. Smith
New York Times
The problem in China is that you never really know who is behind such decisions. Chinese bureaucracy is like a series of Chinese boxes that are harder and harder to open as you move toward the center.

American Unrest Proves China Got the Internet Right

Ran Jijun
Beijing has been criticized for its Great Firewall and online censorship. Now it's looking prescient...

Is Google Another Step Closer to Being Unblocked in China?

Nectar Gan
CNBC
Google is still in talks with Beijing over its plans to return to the mainland Chinese market

There Are Echoes of China in Today’s America

Maura Cunningham
Time
We are troubled by how often lately we experience a strange sort of China-related déjà vu when following events in the U.S.

Facebook Is Trying Everything to Re-Enter China—and It’s Not Working

Alyssa Abkowitz, Deepa Seetharaman,...
Wall Street Journal
Since regulators blocked the service in 2009, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hired well-connected executives, developed censorship tools and taken a ‘smog jog’ in Beijing—but the company has made no visible headway.

Chinese Send Fake Trump Tweets as Jokes, New Year Wishes

Associated Press
In China, Twitter is blocked but fake tweets by @realdonaldtrump look set to become the latest internet sensation.

Forget Xi’s ‘Defense’ of Globalization. China Just Fortified the Great Firewall.

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
Over the weekend, China announced a new, year-long crackdown on “unauthorized Internet connections.”

Apple Removes New York Times App in China

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Company says it will not offer news site in app store because it has been told by Beijing it is in ‘violation of local regulations’

China’s Digital Dictatorship

Economist
Turn the spotlight on the rulers, not the ruled: Instead of rating citizens, the government should be allowing them to assess the way it rules

Popular Chinese Muslim Website Down After Posting Letter Critical of Xi

Christian Shepherd
Reuters
Users of China Muslim Net say they have been unable to access the website since Saturday

China is Censoring People’s Chats Without Them Even Knowing About It

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
Censorship in WeChat group chats is prevalent, and is done so that the sender isn’t even aware a piece of text has been scrubbed

Why Facebook’s China Adventure Will Need More than Censorship to Succeed

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
As social network develops tools to restrict users so China will let it in, some experts say it is ‘light years’ behind rivals already in place

Putin Brings China’s Great Firewall to Russia in Cybersecurity Pact

Andrei Soldatov and Irina Boroga
Guardian
The Kremlin has joined forces with Chinese authorities to bring the internet and its users under greater state control

Conversation

11.28.16

Should Facebook Self-Censor to Enter the Chinese Market?

Kaiser Kuo, Clay Shirky & more
The social network Facebook has reportedly developed software to suppress posts from users’ feeds in targeted geographic areas, a feature created to help the giant social media network gain access to China, where it is blocked. Facebook Chief...

'Social' Feature Turns China’s Alipay Into a Hook-up App

Josh Chin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Alipay update leads to suggestive content flooding the typically staid financial app

Facebook Said to Create Censorship Tool to Get Back into China

Mike Isaacs
New York Times
The social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas

China’s Controversial, Out-Sized Role in Africa’s Digital Revolution

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Africa is home to one of the fastest growing technology markets in the world. In fact, more African households own a mobile phone than have reliable electricity or clean water. The combination of a young population, quickly growing economies, and...

Beijing: Facebook & Google Can Come Back to China as long as They “Respect China’s Laws”

Josh Horwitz and Echo Huang Yinyin
Quartz
Both companies still have business-facing services in China, but consumer-facing services have been blocked for years.

China’s Internet Child-Safety Policies Could Force Changes at Tech Firms

Eva Dou and Li Yuan
Wall Street Journal
Tech companies doing business in China might have to adjust operations to comply with proposed rules

Propaganda and Censorship Remain China’s Favored Tools of Control

Cary Huang
South China Morning Post
Recent court rulings rapping people questioning the party-state’s tales about war heroes reflect leaders’ insecurity over their rule

China: The People’s Fury

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
It has long been routine to find in both China’s official news organizations and its social media a barrage of anti-American comment, but rarely has it reached quite the intensity and fury of the last few days. There have been calls from citizens on...

China Bans Internet News Reporting as Media Crackdown Widens

Bloomberg
Internet portals must shut all original reporting operations.

China Cracks Down on News Reports Spread via Social Media

Edward Wong
New York Times
The Cyberspace Administration of China works hard to filter the news....

Connecting to China's Patchy Internet Freedom

Euro News
EG365
Determined Chinese internet users turn to Virtual private Networks....

Conversation

06.30.16

Where Is China’s Internet Headed?

David Schlesinger, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
Lu Wei, the often combative Chinese official known as China’s “Internet Czar,” will step down, and is to be replaced by a former deputy of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The personnel change comes after a period of mounting restrictions on China’s...

Lu Wei, China’s Internet Czar, Will Step Down From Post

Jane perlez
New York Times
China‘s “firewall” hands the position to Xu Lin after years of building internet policy....

Media

06.22.16

‘Wukan,’ Once a Byword For Chinese Democracy, Now Censored

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
A fishing village in southern Guangdong province, once a standard-bearer for small-time democracy in China, has now become a political disaster—and the most-censored term on Chinese social media.In September 2011, amid protests over land sales in...

China's Internet Propaganda Is More Subtle and Sophisticated Than It Ever Has Been

Nikhil Sonnad
Quartz
Internet mercenaries are paid by the government to spread propaganda messages online.

In China, Government Workers Push Rosy, Diverting Views Online

Paul Mozur
New York Times
The common belief that people who post pro-party online messages are paid 50 cents per post leads people in China to call them the Fifty Cent Party.

Baidu Should Have Even Higher Standards Than Google, Because It's All China's Citizens Have

Zheping Huang
Quartz
Many believe Baidu's claims that it performs strict due diligence before accepting ads...

China Wants to Own Small Stake in Web Firms

Li Yuan
Wall Street Journal
The Chinese government’s control over the Internet could get even tighter, with regulators floating a proposal for the state to take 1% stakes in major Chinese Internet.

China Internet Star Papi Jiang Promises 'Corrections' after Reprimand

BBC
One of China's biggest internet stars Papi Jiang has promised to "correct" herself, following warnings from government officials...

Twitter’s Chief in China Raises Eyebrows Over Military Past and Résumé

New York Times
Twitter's new Chinese chief appointment has aroused fears of potential censorship...

China Says Tech Firms Pledge to Counter Online Terror Activities

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Twenty-five companies, including Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu, have signed on the help the government.

Conversation

04.12.16

Should Internet Censorship Be Considered a Trade Issue?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Susan Shirk & more
A new report from the Office of the United States Trade Representative lists, for the first time, Chinese Internet censorship as a trade barrier. The possible implications are complex: it could strengthen the hand of U.S. businesses, but also stands...

U.S. Adds China’s Internet Controls to List of Trade Barriers

Paul Mozur
New York Times
The limits have posed a significant burden to foreign suppliers, hurting both Internet sites and users who depend on them for business.”

The Architect of China’s Great Firewall Was Himself Blocked by the Firewall

Charlie Campbell
Time
Fang Binxing was himself blocked from viewing a South Korean website during a talk at the Harbin Institute of Technology.

China Censors Mentions of ‘Panama Papers’ Leaks

Michael Forsythe and Austin Ramzy
New York Times
The names of relatives of several top leaders are found in the documents exposing offshore companies, but most citizens will never hear of the news.

China’s Latest Proposed Internet Regulations Would Make Foreign Websites Impossible to Reach

Josh Horwitz
Quartz
Any website that has not procured its domain from inside China will not be accessible.

Read and delete: How Weibo's censors tackle dissent and free speech

Committee to Protect Journalists
A former employee gives insight into how Weibo balances the demands of government censorship with the need to attract users.

Media

01.05.16

China’s Top 5 Censored Posts in 2015

Louisa Lim
Chinese President Xi Jinping rounded off 2015 by posting his first message on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, in the form of a new year’s greeting to the People’s Liberation Army. His post received 52,000 comments, mostly fawning messages of...

China and Russia’s Orwellian attacks on Internet freedom

The Editorial Board
Washington Post
Xi Jinping’s recent speech suggests that China won’t give up nudging global Internet governance toward the “sovereignty” model.

Will China’s Censorship Spread?

LI YUAN
Wall Street Journal
Since last year, China has been promoting its notion of ‘Internet sovereignty’ for global Internet governance.

China Web Tsar Admits Censorship Troubles

Charles Clover
Financial Times
“We have indeed called for reinforcements over prominent online problems, this is the truth.”

Media

11.27.15

‘Personal Media’ in China Takes a Hit From Pre-Publication Censorship

Hu Yong
Observers have long thought that Chinese authorities censor the media depending on type: the censorship of traditional media is primarily conducted in advance, with a thorough inspection of news and discussion before publication; new media, in...

China Cuts Mobile Service of Xinjiang Residents Evading Internet Filters

Paul Mozur
New York Times
The Chinese government is shutting down the mobile service of residents in Xinjiang.

China Ranks Last of 65 Nations in Internet Freedom

New York Times
Chinese officials will be able to impose a prison sentence of up to seven years on a person convicted of creating and spreading “false information” online.