China’s Free Trade Zone to Allow Facebook and Twitter

China will be allowing internet users to use Facebook, Twitter, and The New York Times, according to a report by VPN provider HideMyAss. The Chinese government will finally lift the ban on these specific sites but only in the Free Trade Zone in Shanghai.

This move by the government is for foreigners to “live and work happily” within the newly opened free trade zone and for them to feel at home. A government official told the Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post that if the foreigners are not able to access Facebook or The New York Times when they visit the free trade zone, they might wonder how special it is compared to the rest of the country.

The ‘Great Firewall of China’ which posed restrictions to the famous social media sites Facebook and Twitter was implemented in 2009 when riots came out allegedly due to the influence of social media in Mainland China. The New York Times was banned 3 years later after the press ran an exposé on the finances of political families. People ricocheted to Sina Weibo, one of China’s most famous microblogging sites, triggering the government to set up monitoring and censorship systems in its favor. HideMyAss has been on the scene ever since, providing website unblocking and anonymizing services to internet users in China who believe in open and free internet.

The report also noted a ploy to allow foreign companies to place bids on providing internet access in the zone. These companies will lock horns with China’s “Big Three,” a state ownership that appears to be taking a new turn when the Chinese dignitaries supporting the free trade zone take the lead. Many internet users in China have mixed feelings about the decision, HideMyAss shared, because it could mean freer internet in the future, or could also be a kind of decoy, giving the world a false impression that internet restrictions in China are being lifted.

Protect Your Facebook

The free trade zone which was broadcast towards the end of August covers less than 20 miles to date. It was reported, however, that expansions will be enforced over the years if this first move will prove successful. If China wants to be up to par with other countries, this is a pivotal step in increasing more chances for foreign investments and making a name in global financing. Many advocates of free internet access have long lobbied for open internet for this reason. HideMyAss and other popular VPN providers have long supported this view as well, and have been serving users in China to help them maintain an edge in the global economy.

In line with the expansion will soon come a need for strong security measures for internet users in the free trade zone. As a VPN service provider, HideMyAss want to make sure that people’s data is always safe from online criminals and hackers. HideMyAss continually aims to bolster better internet accessibility in China and for many other internet users around the world.

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