The Great Firewall of China

By November 15, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

by Liliya Akhtemova – Intern at MooMu Media


Can you imagine your life without Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or many other “unhealthy” websites? Probably not. However, China lives without these well-known services. Most people, especially young netizens might ask: how on earth do Chinese internet users manage to survive without Facebook or YouTube? Everything is not as bad as it seems.


Internet censorship in China is one of the most stringent in the world. The apparatus of online repression is considered more extensive and more advanced than in any other country. The government not only blocks “unhealthy” websites, but also monitors the Internet access of individuals.


“If you open the window for fresh air, you have to expect some flies to blow in” – one of the favorite sayings of the Chinese political reformist Deng Xiaoping. This phrase is considered an ideological basis for internet censorship in China. The Chinese government wants to protect the country and prevent it from objectionable “flies”.


In spite of forbidden access to some international services, China has a strong social media network. The world has Google, China has Baidu, the world has Twitter, China has Weibo (the most popular are Xinlang weibo, Tencent weibo), the world has Facebook, China has Renren wang or Kaixin wang. Chinese people don’t feel left out, simultaneously the government of China is able to control the online social networking through the Internet police, which is rumoured at more than 30,000.



Statistics, facts and figures about social media in China:


–          The number of social media users in China is 536 million;


–          China’s netizens spend  41% of their online time on social media;


–          77% of Chinese web users believe a social media presence makes a brand more attractive;


–          Over 80% of social media users in China have more than one social media account;


–          Qzone[1] is the largest Chinese social network with over 500 million active users;


–          QQ – China’s largest instant messenger platform, has more than 700 million registered users;


–          More people use weibos (microblogs) in China than live in the whole of the United States;


–          Twitter is usually blocked in China, but 910,000 people in this country still visit every month;


–          In spite of Facebook in mainland China being forbidden, there are 493,460 Chinese Facebook users;


–          Daily visitors to, China’s equivalent of Youtube: 26.4 million, that’s more than population of Australia.


The statistical data is based on the information, providing by The China Internet Network Information Center, the agency We are social and SlideShare. For more information about social media in China you can check the following links:

[1] Qzone – is a social networking website, which was created by Tencent in 2005. It permits users to write blogs, keep diaries, upload photos, and listen to music. Users can set their Qzone background and select accessories based on their preferences, every Qzone is customized to the individual member’s taste.



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