The Great Digital Wall of China

in internet •  11 months ago 

China has 800 million internet users.

The giant global providers of services and products on the internet; Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA) are blocked and replaced by three national giants that dominate the industry: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT).
  • Baidu is the Chinese Google.
  • Alibaba dominates online commerce.
  • Tencent is the center of a social network similar to Facebook.

Let's take a look at the Chinese Internet.

In China there are local providers for all the services that the western internet offers.

Weibo is the Chinese Twitter.

Baidu is the map service (nothing from Google maps).

WeChat is the WhatsApp version.

WeChat has 1K million active users per month and is considered a Super App without which anyone would feel isolated.

With a series of secondary programs, WeChat allows mobile electronic payments to be made, including making a medical appointment.

All this has led to users, refugees in the concept of "Social Relations", to give less importance to the disclosure of personal information. What has facilitated the Government to monitor every step (literally) of the majority of its citizens.

The most popular services in China are video streaming.

But there the portals are not YouTube or Netflix, but Tencent Video, Quiyi or Youku.

This all sounds great right? So where is the problem?

All this immense data traffic is isolated from the rest of the digital world by a gigantic FireWall. This Computer Wall consists of very few servers which are controlled by the government. This makes it very easy to block certain content and IP addresses by taking censorship to levels never seen before.

This is very convenient for all Chinese trading platforms, since they do not have to compete with the rest of the world. But here we are in the presence of the greatest act of censorship that we can know.

This censorship is applicable to all types of information, trends and interests of the population. For example, political opinions.

It is common not to have access to foreign websites. If the contents are not approved by the government, the IP addresses are simply blocked. This measure currently affects Google and Wikipedia for example.

The Chinese digital commerce companies themselves committed themselves to the government to censor the contents.

With the help of very sophisticated image recognition algorithms, Wechat can prevent the transmission of photos in real time.

A study by from the University of Toronto in Canada, it was able to verify by means of an experiment where the image of an empty chair was sent which referred to a deceased Chinese human rights activist, was not received by his interlocutor in China through chat.


The Chinese government is constantly innovating and increasing its technological developments in surveillance, control and cyber security.

Thanks to these government measures, Internet activity remains politically calm, while from the commercial and cultural point of view it is full of activity and innovation.

But the internet has lost its prominence in the liberalization and democratization of Chinese society.

All this is technologically fascinating, but the socio-political and socio-economic consequences are terrifying.

The marketing of cryptoassets is prohibited and penalized in China.

How would all this control influence digital financial freedoms?


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China is a benchmark of government control tru electronic media.

An authoritarian state where freedom of the individual is the last priority.

And government controls your life.

I don’t like that kind of life.

Citizen should be given enough democratic rights to exercise his best judgement.

Posted using Partiko iOS

I totally agree.

The Chinese government is not a democratic one and they don’t pretend to be. Hence, they will try to control the narrative that enters and leave (even democratic governments do to an extent more than we would want to believe)
I tried to use a Chinese payment service recently since I live nearby and was alarmed by the amount of private information they required - I aborted that mission. Big brother is always watching even in the so called democratic countries that we live in. Can we do anything about it? We’d be surprised how much Facebook tracks our online activities even when we are not using Facebook. I guess we could just not use technology 🤷🏿‍♂️

Posted using Partiko iOS

It's worrying, don't you think?

I can’t say that I am particularly worried- The Chinese people know they are being watched and we know that if we use platforms made my said authorities they are probably watching us. Do we have anything to hide ? Don’t get me wrong , people should be free to do what they want as long as these things are within law. However , it is what it is and only the people primarily affected have the power to change that system so worried would be a strong word. I’m more concerned about the countries that say they are not watching their citizens and go to extreme lengths to snoop on people who are not suspected of committing any crime. Since we know these things we should be cautious about what we do on the WWW.
If we worry about everything we cannot enjoy this life.

Posted using Partiko iOS

We are all being watched in some way. But that is not the point.
The issue in China is the ban.

Not using technology isn't really going to change that much @missaj since we're surrounded by people who do.

Dear @juanmolina

China is an expert with building walls and one-way trade model. I loved visiting this country, however I feel sorry for all citizens who are completely under such a heavy and efficient control. With almost entire lack of access to worldwide news.

Sometimes Im wondering if it wouldn't be wise business model, to offer online marketing services on "our" social media sites to chinese businesses. They surely cannot know how to promote themselfs on "ours" platforms as well as we do.

Also this business model could work very well the other way around: to find forign businesses which would need exposure on Chinese social media platforms. I don't think that there are many companies in europe who could offer such a services.

Upvote on the way :)

Also this business model could work very well the other way around: to find forign businesses which would need exposure on Chinese social media platforms. I don't think that there are many companies in europe who could offer such a services.

I believe that in order to achieve this, companies would need to have important connections with the Government and conform to all regulatory and censorship requirements. As well as having a great knowledge of the current technological and social culture that involves a Semiological Compendium very difficult to understand for Western philosophy.

  ·  11 months ago (edited)

The larger social media platforms (e.g. Facebook) are already doing that. I personally know a friend working in Facebook whose job is to fly into China occasionally to get companies to buy advertisements on their platform. It's a huge source of revenue for Facebook.

So on the surface it may seem like these platforms are not accessible in China. They actually aren't 100% inaccessible

So on the surface it may seem like these platforms are not accessible in China. They actually aren't 100% inaccessible

Wow! It´s a crazy.

Scary thing the Gohst chair cartoon experiment😨

Posted using Partiko Android

Howdy dearest @jenina619.

It´s amazing.

These controls come at a price. Businesses are already hampered by restrictions. Sometimes, it's lacking access to important news and information. Other times, business transactions are hampered. VPNs have largely been able to circumvent the Wall, but it is getting harder. I wouldn't be surprised if peer-to-peer apps become increasingly used to circumvent the Wall like in Hong Kong.

Posted using Partiko Android

The authorities have struggled to give the people enough technology and resources so they don't miss the rest of the world.
This has worked so far.

China is a complete authoritarian state which is governed by a single party. Its working is similar to the Ingsoc, described in the novel '1984' of George Orwell. It is the capitalist economy headed by tyrant communist party. So, it does everything according to the whims and ideas of its leaders.

You are very right.
These whims are so extreme that the government has created applications for android whose only and true purpose is to track people to pay tribute to the political party. It is a weapon of human control.

Censorship is everywhere, but we see that in China it goes by leaps and bounds!

pd: I didn't think it was possible to control digital coins that way!

it´s horrible.

Great post, thanks for sharing, resteemed & upvoted ;)

Posted using Partiko Android

Thank you very much.

I just met a lady living in China. They also no longer use cash. You pay for everything on your phone now. EVERYTHING. So if the phones go down everything goes down.

  ·  11 months ago (edited)

China has a very different belief system from USA. So things work very differently over there. While I believe in the freedom of information, I can understand the Chinese government's approach.

That being said, I do not envy those who live there. However, similarly there are many people in there who are so used to such way of life. In the end, it's all just different perspectives I guess

Dear @juanmolina, a great investigation.

It is surprising the control exercised by the Chinese government in its territory, what impresses me most is that companies are willing to collaborate by blocking content that they consider to violate their norms.

With the amount of internet users, companies have enough public to show their products, avoid competition with other giants of global technology and do not need anything else.

Censorship at its finest!

Thanks brother, great post.

Not used to it...
you can only find a way to let myself climb up
your the lower the level/statu, the more sadful you are.
your the higher the level/statu, the more joyful you are.

Thanks for sending me memo.
I have heard about tencent and Alibaba. Infact, I am using Ali express site for shopping which is sister site of Alibaba. China is slowly dominating the market. They have cheap quality products and very comfortably available. In case if Tencent, I think I know about it after playing PUBG game. I think within short time they will replace google and other markets.
Well, very amazing post.

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Every country in the world has its electronic surveillance, it's just done behind closed doors.
Western media is controlled by the big media companies. They toe the establishment lines or they dint have a job, it's simple.
We shouldn't be suppried tha a big country such as China takes it to the next level to protect its security.
It just a different way of life which the Chinese people have to follow.
Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
Jut look how the US has reacted to Huawei communications. Accusing them of putting spyware into their phones. Don't we think all phone companies do that?
YouTube do the same thing by banning certain content that doesn't fit the narrative. And we won't talk about Facebook will we?😎

Posted using Partiko Android