Boy did the Chinese government pull a good April Fools joke on me. Here I thought all of this time internet censorship in China was all about protecting neitizens from “inappropriate” material, threats to the supremacy of the CCP and the ramblings from those good for nothing freedom of speech activists. Well, according to this article, it seems the government is seriously considering allowing access to foreign sites such as Facebook, Twitter and the lot but for a price. Now I don’t doubt that the original reasons behind internet censorship in China were aimed at quelling possible threats to the CCP and block neitizens from accessing unwanted material but with the accessibility of VPNs in China, is the Great Firewall of China really doing its job anymore or has it been sustained, IMO long beyond its time, in order to protect State-Owned Enterprises that party officials have heavily invested in?
In regards to WeChat the article stated, “The ingenious move to start charging Chinese users for free Internet services seems to be an expansion of the government’s plan that would require users to pay a fee for WeChat, a hitherto free mobile messaging service developed by China’s web giant Tencent. Tencent has repeatedly stated that it wants to keep WeChat free for its 300 million users, but the government has insisted on imposing fees in order to protect the voice and SMS business of China’s powerful state-owned telecom operators.”
I honestly think that this is the true side of the perpetuation of the Great Firewall of China that the government would not like everyone to see. I think we could very well see the fall of the Great Firewall of China in the name of a quick buck. Like the article stated China’s 564 million internet users are a relatively untapped market that have the potential of yielding a huge return even if it means putting up with a tweet about a controversial topic or a photo on Facebook negatively portraying the CCP.