Data Breaches

Why are Google and Facebook banned in China?

Google and Facebook are ultra-successful giants in their respective fields. Facebook has over 2.3 billion monthly active users and Google has around 2 billion.

The search engine helps millions of people connect with businesses and interact with them. Facebook helps people around the world connect by letting them make profiles, post pictures, and videos, create fan pages for movies and games, chat with friends, etc.

In short, both are useful and easy to use, so why are they banned in China? Short answer: Censorship but as mentioned before Google is used by almost 2 billion people in the world. You can find almost anything just by “Googling” it. This is great because it makes services and products more convenient by making them available to you with a few clicks.

However, there’s virtually nothing stopping the search engine from logging data. To make search results accurate and targeted, Google collects data from users. China, on the other hand, does not want Google or anyone else to snoop on its citizen but China itself.

See: List of Eight Popular websites That are Banned in China

Furthermore, due to strict censorship laws, the Chinese government seeks to hide certain information. For example, if you search for sensitive information like Tiananmen Square the search engine will show you an error page. This is a result of the Great Firewall which is China’s internet censorship system.

Accessing Google will redirect you to the company’s servers in Hong Kong. Therefore, if you want to use the regular version instead of the Chinese one you might ask yourself how to unblock Google in China. The answer: use a VPN from China’s VPN list. This will allow you to see blocked pages and have a safer Google experience since the VPN will encrypt your data.

With so many Facebook users today you can rest assured that the company will continue to grow strong in the coming years, right? After the Cambridge Analytica scandal people seem more concerned about their data which is why Facebook has provided them with an “Off-Facebook Activity Tool” designed to help users see the data of companies Facebook interacts with.

Data is precious, which is why the Chinese government “takes care” of it so much. Their Great Firewall has banned numerous popular websites like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat dwindling their market value.

The riots in July 2009, in Urumqi, Xinjiang were the main reason why Facebook got banned. In the investigation, it was claimed that the Chinese activists were using the social media website to communicate. In July 2018, Facebook tried to open a subsidiary company in China, but the approval was repealed after just one day.

China’s strict internet censorship is a problem for many internet companies that want to expand their business in the country. On the other hand, Chinese companies like Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, as well as WeChat and Sina Weibo, which have similar service to Facebook, are thriving in the country feeling no effect of the Great Firewall.

See: Chinese Man Who Sold VPNs Gets 9 Months Prison Sentence

Like Google, there are ways to access Facebook in China. Although it’s blocked throughout the mainland it can be accessed in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. You can use a VPN to unblock Facebook, but make sure it’s one of the available ones. Also, a proxy can make the website as your intermediary or you can use Tor from a USB drive.

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