China May Unblock Facebook for 1st Time During International Summit


The Great Firewall in China could get some temporary new settings during the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing on Nov. 7-12.

Over 20 world leaders will be attending on Nov. 10-11, including Barack Obama and Vladamir Putin, with ministers and senior officials holding earlier meetings separately.

As well as lifting the ban on Facebook, which has been blocked since 2009, other restricted sites like Google and the BBC may also become available, according to Want China Times.

Beijing authorities have built a special hotel, villas, and international convention center with a highway linking it to the city especially for the major event.

Heavy industry has also been temporarily halted for a 125-mile radius around the capital to reduce pollution levels, and the smog levels are coming down from their recently awful heights.

It’s barely two weeks since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited China, and wowed many people with his Mandarin-speaking abilities. The trip is thought to have been a charm offensive to pave the way for Facebook gaining a permanent foothold in China.

However, any softening of restrictions on western sites in the communist state is expected to only be a temporary situation while the world leaders are in town.


The censored photo of Mark Zuckerberg with Wang Qishan. (HKU)

A photo of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg with Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan that was removed from Sina Weibo. The censored caption said: “Mark, how come we still can’t access Facebook?” (HKU)

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