One of the most appealing things about China and the Chinese for me is there eagerness to get to know the rest of the world. So it is frustrating for me - and self-limiting for China - that the Communist Party so lacks confidence that they have constructed the "Great Firewall". It obstructs - by design - my abilit to easily exchange information with my fellow academics. They cannot, for example, read my blogs, nor reliably receive email sent via Google's gmail. - gwc
China Clamps Down on Web, Pinching Companies Like Google - NYTimes.com:
HONG KONG — Google’s problems in China just got worse.
As part of a broad campaign to tighten internal security, the Chinese government has draped a darker shroud over Internet communications in recent weeks, a situation that has made it more difficult for Google and its customers to do business.
Chinese exporters have struggled to place Google ads that appeal to overseas buyers. Biotechnology researchers in Beijing had trouble recalibrating a costly microscope this summer because they could not locate the online instructions to do so. And international companies have had difficulty exchanging Gmail messages among far-flung offices and setting up meetings on applications like Google Calendar.
“It’s a frustrating and annoying drain on productivity,” said Jeffrey Phillips, an American energy executive who has lived in China for 14 years. “You’ve got people spending their time figuring out how to send a file instead of getting their work done.”
The pain is widespread. Two popular messaging services owned by South Korean companies, Line and Kakao Talk, were abruptly blocked this summer, as were other applications like Didi, Talk Box and Vower. American giants like Twitter and Facebook have long been censored by China’s Great Firewall, a system of filters the government has spent lavishly on to control Internet traffic in and out of the country.
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