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HONG KONG, HongKong [HK]
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Google in China

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There’s this wall in China, stopping foreign devils from getting to the grand Chinese population, I’m sure you’ve heard of it “The Great (fire)Wall of China”.
It’s the worlds largest blacklist, full of sites deemed to be a danger to societal harmony, whilst I can agree in part with that statement. I doubt I can see how it really has any effect at all, except by making China look oppressive.
Whilst Google isn’t available in China Mainland any longer you are just redirected to Google Hong Kong, which doesn’t have the same policy as the mainland when it comes to filtering. That said it is also hit and miss with access sometimes being extremely slow or intermittent, a quick check to Baidu (China’s local search engine) and you’ll find it’s definitely not a slow connection.
The reason major sites such as Facebook and Google are not available in the Mainland is simple, they refuse to filter search results or block at the Chinese governments request.
According to an interview conducted by the BBC, "It’s a question of control - and the Chinese authorities like to keep close control of web content, preferring to work with local internet content providers, on whom they can rely for self-censorship of content," Reports Mr Clark of BDA China
Other sites that are currently blocked are YouTube, Google+, Twitter, Dropbox, Facebook and Foursquare, again for refusing to censor or block content on request.
Aside from the content filtering, it’s also a matter of pushing local providers to get better results. Whilst YouTube is blocked, local provider Youku has a massive user base and is growing every day, as does Weibo which is China’s equivalent of Twitter.
If you are going to be in China for an extended period of time it is highly recommended that you obtain access to a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This is a simple way to access blocked sites whilst inside China.
A VPN works by accessing a secure tunnel that’s outside of the country, now these do sometimes get blocked as well but the companies that run them are constantly changing the IP addresses so they are accessible. There are many good ones to choose and some are free and some are paid, the paid ones have more servers and are usually have 99.9% uptime.
Another great thing about having access to a VPN is that you can make your IP look like you’re in another country which is great if you want to watch location restricted content such as BBC iPlayer or Netflix etc. So even if you’re reading this from the comfort of your home country, you could still use a VPN!

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