Internet in China is strictly controlled by many laws and administrative regulations. It is the most extensive and advanced online censorship operation in the world. More than sixty Internet regulations have been created by the government of China, which have been implemented by provincial branches of state-owned ISPs, companies, and organizations.
The governmental authorities of China block access to selected foreign websites and slow down cross-border internet traffic, also monitors individual activity of users. Moreover, it limits the access of foreign international tools and mobile apps; and requires overseas companies to accustom to the indigenous regulations. For this reason, this phenomenon has a worldwide famous nickname “The Great Firewall of China”. (Wikipedia)
The Great Firewall
China has created a well-working digital control which applies internet filters, called the Great Firewall. It restricts what a user can see, reach and do online. Additionally, it also provides an information on what residents are doing on non-Chinese apps and services.
Google search, Facebook and WhatsApp, the most recognised and used internet applications of this age, has been widely blocked in mainland China by the country’s government. These restrictions ignore foreign companies completely and encourages self-censorship.
Reasons and observations
The current government, under the leadership of president Xi Jinping, actively invests more resources to improve the censorship at its maximum. Since the Communist party is responsible for leading the country to this direction, it is believed that the virtual and real words are related and depend on each other. Thus, the both worlds should reflect the same political values, ideals, and standards.
The strict censorship is affecting foreign business and threats to technological and digital advancements: the benefits of the internet like advanced commerce and innovation can slow down comparing with the overseas. Anyway, the initial developers of “Chinanet” are aware about it and try to support and accept the costs in terms of economic development, creative expression, government credibility, and the development of civil society. However, human rights and social changes influence the local society which seeks for more liberations and rights.