Chinese Internet Censorship

Since starting this WordPress.com blog in early 2012, I have welcomed visitors from a multitude of countries, including Azerbaijan, Botswana, Mauritius and Guernsey (Yes Guernsey is a country according to WordPress). I am still waiting for the first intrepid Beninese and Togolese explorers to discover my blog, and to date there have been no visits from North Korea – perhaps not surprising considering the Internet is merely a rumour for much of the country’s population.

There has yet to be a single visitor from the People’s Republic of China (Population: 1.366 billion, 19% of World’s population). This probably has something to do with the fact that WordPress.com is usually blocked in China. Other popular websites that are blocked in China include Twitter, Facebook, Xhamster (pornography website), and even The New York Times. The ban now also extends to beards, at least on public transport in Xinjiang, in the restless far west of the country.

China

Yesterday I spent some time perusing the Chinese Amazon website. I found a number of controversial books there, including Palahniuk’s anarchist work, Fight Club, and Bret Easton Ellis’s ultra-violent American Psycho. Chinese residents planning to buy a copy of the Dalai Lama’s autobiography will be left disappointed, as will any Chinese Brad Pitt fans hoping to get the DVD of Seven Years In Tibet.

I even found my humorous tale of the unexpected, Charles Middleworth. There was no sign of my latest book, the satirical, black comedy, Necropolis. Perhaps I would be flattering myself if I were to think Necropolis has raised the ire of the Chinese censors, but at any rate any hopes I harboured of Necropolis becoming a 21st Century Little Red Book have had to be put on hold for now.

 Censored

Last night lying in bed, unable to get to sleep, I took to thinking about what English language search terms I might think twice about entering into a search engine, if I was a Chinese resident. I came up with these:

#OrganHarvesting #FreeTibet #UighurDissident #FalunGong

 #FoodScandal #DalaiLama #XinjiangRiots #BearBile

Were you to search for these terms in China, you might well be looking over your shoulder whilst travelling clean-shaven on a public bus, or munching on an expired Big Mac at McDonalds.

 

 

 

10 Comments

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  • I just had to go looking didn’t I. Well, anyone would. I’m not sure what it says about me, perhaps potentially less of a threat, but I’ve had 3 visits from China. What struck me as more odd was 1 visit each from Iran and Iraq and two unknown of which was was in Europe and 1 by satellite.( Alien ?) I’ve had 8 visits from Trinidad and Tobago when I’d actually prefer to make 8 visits and the biggest surprise of all was only 3 visits from Nigeria despite having about 5000 emails from the crooks there. Hmmm, I never checked Burkina Faso out.

    • I am surprised to hear that you have only had 3 visits from Nigeria David, considering the ordeal some of the country’s nationals have put you through. It’s interesting that you’ve had three visits from China. Maybe they are from someone there thinking about holidaying in your neck of the woods, a Chinese censor monitoring your website, or from one of your numerous blog followers on a holiday/business trip there. The satellite is a concerning development. I did once mention the Dalai Lama (Tibetan one, not official Chinese Dalai Lama) in a blog post, which might explain why I’ve never had a visitor from there.

  • Is lying in bed thinking about search terms that might piss off Chinese censors your equivalent of counting sheep? I heard about the food scandals on CNN. It’s v.bad for the McDonalds, KFC & Pizza Hut brands. There’s still loads of recycled oil being used in cooking over there which is so gross. Things will change. Their having their industrial revolution right now so can’t expect it to be same as what we’re used to. At least they can read Fight Club.

    • I think I’ve consumed recycled oil in Nepal a few times. It didn’t agree with me. Chinese McDonald’s have moved quickly to get a new food supplier, so one suspects it will be as good/bad as the McDonalds we experience over here in no time.

    • No, at least I don’t think so. Normally I sleep pretty well. And on the occasions I don’t thinking up search terms that might offend Chinese censors is enough to induce it.

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