Everyone has known for some time that China censors their citizens from certain parts of the internet. But what qualifications must a site have to be excluded from the Great China Firewall?
Now the US Government wants to know how the filter actually works to filter out websites from results in China. Foreign minister Jiang Wu of Beijing told reporters this:
So, pretty much any website with opposing viewpoints than the Chinese Government will be blocked as well as any website that will not follow along with their censorship guidelines. Google was a prime example of this when they redirected search results to their Google.hk site which was not censored. Google has since ironed things out with the Chinese Government but still has a link to the Hong Kong site on Google.cn.
Some of the issues being raised by the US Government and Chinese censorship of the internet comes down to competitive of foreign websites in China. If websites that sell goods in the US are blocked in China it seems that China would be promoting their own sites and stunting international competition in their country. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk is pushing this issue with China to determine the rules that determine censorship “The U.S. wants to understand China’s rules governing website blocking so that foreign websites can adopt policies to avoid being blocked.”
China has about 400 million active internet users, imagine targeting that market to only find that China blocked your company website.