The internet in China is not as restricted as sometimes believed in the west, says this HK-based professor of new media studies quoted by Reuters. Well, EngagingChina begs to differ.
Access to our site — along with myriad others hosted by our and other blog hosting providers — has been permanently blocked to Chinese net surfers since the beginning of this year. Our crime? Well, that's the clever part about Chinese internet censorship: we just don't know.
Maybe the authorities took a dislike to the tone of an article at some point in the past. Or perhaps its nothing personal at all and we've simply been caught along with hundreds of other blogs in the very big net that is the Great Firewall of China.
The Reuters article mentioned argues that China's internal policing of its citizen's internet use is much subtler than many in the west believe.
China's 30m or so blogs are managed by getting the China-based website hosts to practise self-censorship, stopping content objectionable to the government appearing lest their own businesses be shut down, the professor argues.
That may be the case, but the Chinese government's policy of systematically blocking access to foreign news sites and blog hosting providers like ours is anything but subtle. Much like the Berlin Wall, the Great Firewall of China will one day come tumbling down.
In the meantime, EngagingChina is looking for a solution that will allow us to be read in China. We'll keep you informed.