Saturday, 12 March 2011

Fight against the Great Firewall of China

I excitingly shared my blog on Renren (Chinese Facebook) the other day, hoping to get some feedback from my friends in China, but all the feedback I've got was the same: "I can't open it". Not to my surprise, Blogspot is just another victim of Great Firewall of China.

Since the great firewall is working so hard in China, Facebook & Twitter were both undoubtedly blocked. As the most popular social websites in the world, both Facebook and Twitter are so widely used by all kinds of organizations as cost-effective PR tools throughout the world. Some people may wonder how Chinese organizations carry out online PR campaigns without those social websites such as Facebook. Well, we've got website clones - not only the functions but also the layouts are 95% the same as the original ones, such as Renren (Facebook), Fanfou (Twitter), ect. Although there's nothing to be proud of to have those website clones, they run amazingly well in China. Take Renren as an example, there are about 160 million registered users and more than thirty thousand public pages, which create by organizations and celebrities. What is more, QQ, which originally called OICQ (ICQ)  is the largest instant messaging service in China with 632 million registered users. Organizations set up QQ blogs correspondingly in order to attract Chinese netizens' attentions from the largest online community in China. 

When dealing with international publics, the Chinese social websites I mentioned above are not of any use. So what can those organizations do? Do they have to say goodbye to one of the greatest online PR tools? From what I've observed, most of the China-based organizations or Chinese media, which I followed on twitter or liked on Facebook, update at least once a day. It's not some magic spells. It is just a well-known secret for most of the people in China to climb over the Great Firewall. In this case, it makes little difference whether those websites were blocked in China or not (although sometimes it is not quite stable for people to get onto those blocked sites). Organizations in China are still able to access the blocked websites.

I don't know how long people in China have to fight against the Great Firewall. Not too long, I hope!

Sources are from:

1 comment:

  1. A very interesting post, I had heard of restrictions to Chinese internet but did not realise it was to such a great extent. Do you know if any of the smaller organisations in China manage to break into the international market through online PR or do they have to limit their online activity to China? It would be interesting to find out if these restrictions have a significant impact upon the way that PR is practised in China.