Chinese censorship is a never-ending topic. In this article we will discuss issues related to Internet censorship and some of the technologies banned by the Chinese government. Read on to find out what apps you can’t use while staying in the People’s Republic of China.
Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC)
China has attempted to stop the growth of the digital commerce market by blocking all cryptocurrency-related services, including: the ability to exchange cryptocurrencies, issue cryptocurrency-related products, and savings services. These are not the first attempts to eliminate cryptocurrencies from the People’s Republic of China. In 2017, the Chinese government shut down all cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country, only to block access to all foreign exchanges and cryptocurrency trading websites in 2019. The Chinese government argues its decisions on the grounds that speculative cryptocurrency trading disrupts the normal economic and financial order.
Censorship in China prevents Internet users from viewing or posting content that may contain politically and socially incorrect content. Such content includes, but is not limited to, content published on social networking sites such as Facebook. No one can have complete control over what users publish. For this reason, Facebook is not available in China, despite the fact that at one time the company tried very hard to gain access to the Chinese market.
Instagram is likely blocked for the same reasons that most Western social networks are censored. First, they allow users to openly communicate with users in other countries, especially those who live in Western democracies. Second, users can freely post and comment on forums, which is beyond the reach of Chinese authorities. Such freedom of speech could undermine the rule of the Communist Party and is therefore seen as a threat to Chinese power.
The Chinese government blocked Facebook long before it blocked Instagram. Now that Instagram is owned by Facebook and inextricably linked to it, the obvious next step was to block Instagram as well.
Google’s Chinese search engine, was shut down in 2010 after disputes over censorship of search terms. Google’s family of applications – including the popular Gmail email service, is unfortunately not available within China.
Due to the sensitivity of the Chinese government regarding the content that is made available to Chinese citizens, Netflix is not available in China.