China Is (Kinda) Loosening Its Web Censorship

Illustration for article titled China Is (Kinda) Loosening Its Web Censorship

China has a rich—and occasionally odd—history of censoring the web. Now, though, it seems it may be loosening its iron grip, at least a little.


A report by the South China Morning Post explains that bans on a number of globally popular social and news services have been lifted, at least in the special Shanghai free trade zone. Citing sources from within the Chinese government , the report explains that Twitter, Facebook and The New York Times are all now accessible in the area.


According to the report, the goal is to make western visitors feel more welcome, which it's hoped will stimulate trade and investment from overseas. How well that will work remains to be seen. China first blocked access to Facebook way back in 2009, so the decision to open access—even if it is largely for foreign travellers—is a big step. [South China Morning Post via QZ]

Image by Shutterstock / Andersphoto

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Cletus Van Damme

Not much of a big deal. A lot of international hotels in Shanghai and other cities already use VPNs for their networks, as do almost all international companies. The Shanghai Free Trade Zone is going to have some interesting implications, many bigger than this, like fully convertible currency.