The Great Firewall: An Impediment to Doing Business with China?

The Chinese regime blocked all access to Flickr.com, a well-known photo sharing website. (chidorian/Flickr)
The Chinese regime blocked all access to Flickr.com, a well-known photo sharing website. (chidorian/Flickr)

China has two “great walls” – the Great Wall and the Great Firewall. Both are counted among the world’s “greatest”, but for different reasons. The Great Wall was built as a defence against enemies, while the Great Firewall is like a prison wall.

It restricts the freedom of people inside China, putting them under surveillance and blocking them from knowing the real world. One recent example is the Swedish town “Falun”, which has its business operations frequently blocked because of the spelling of its name.

As recently reported by some non-Chinese media, a global corporation based in China discovered it always lost it’s Internet connection for about an hour when receiving files from a Swedish client. After weeks of frustration, the company’s director Mr Bergman finally figured out the problem.

The client’s transferred files have the word “Falun” in them, referring to the Swedish town of that name. The town happens to have the same spelling as the persecuted practice “Falun Gong”. So the Swedish client unwittingly became a “victim” of the Communist Party’s Great Firewall.

Political commentator Xing Tianxing says:

Since realising the cause of the problem, Mr Bergman has asked the client to rename the files before sending them out. As expected, the files have transferred without any problems since then. Despite that, Mr Bergman decided to close his Chinese business and move the firm (Diakrit) to Thailand instead.

He says Thailand’s Internet is much faster and more reliable, and his company can connect to Facebook and Twitter there. This has greatly helped his business and ended his worries about Internet censorship.

Xing Tianxing says:

Falun-Gong-Dafa-bucharest-romania-practised-around-the-world

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient cultivation practise for a healthy mind and body. Falun Gong is currently practised on all continents around the world, including Asia, Oceania, Africa, Europe, North America and South America. In 1999, the number of people practising Falun Gong in China exceeded the membership of the Chinese Communist Party (Chinese regime). Since then, Falun Gong is persecuted severely in China, including officially documented reports of tortures, rapes, kidnappings, murders and illegal organ harvesting, committed by the Chinese regime against the Falun Gong adherents.
Pictured above is a practise site in Bucharest, Romania. (longtrekhome/Flickr)

A research report by Harvard Law School and Cambridge University stated that China’s Internet censorship system is the most developed in the world. Its operation involves a considerable number of state agencies and tens of thousands of employees working for either the Communist regime or a company.

The websites blocked by China’s Great Firewall include most well-known overseas blog sites and video-sharing sites, such as Youtube. Popular social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and Myspace are also on the banned list.

The Chinese websites of many major international media are also blocked, including BBC, VOA, Deutsche Welle, RFI, ABC Radio Australia and others. Websites of newspapers, such as the Hong Kong-based Apple Daily, the Taiwan-based Liberty Times and the Epoch Times are also on the black list.

Li, a netizen from Shaanxi Province, says:

As the CCP tightens its Internet blocking and censorship, more Chinese netizens are expressing a grudge against the system. Li says:

Li believes the CCP’s Internet censorship only exposes its dictatorship, guilt and inner weaknesses. She concludes that the CCP’s lies will finally be exposed and then it will have to pay for all its evil doings.

illustration mechanism GFW china great firewall

A basic illustration by IsaacMao on the mechanism of China’s Great Firewall (GFW). (IsaacMao/Flickr)

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