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二、Access to information is inconvenient due to internet restrictions and blockage

  • Date:2021-10-08

The CCP imposes strict controls over internet usage by limiting access to online content (such as Facebook and Google), and by increasing the difficulty of circumventing the "Great Firewall” via virtual private networks (VPNs). Meanwhile, media outlets in mainland China are largely under state control, rendering sources and content of online information highly restricted compared with what is available in Taiwan.

Example 1: In the latest wave of internet censorship, mainland China banned access to at least eight print, electronic, and online media outlets, including US-based Washington Post, UK-based The Guardian, and US-based NBC News.

Example 2: “Clubhouse,” a social audio app that went viral in the early 2021, attracted a large number of mainland Chinese internet users. However, free communication on the app lasted only for a week, then was blocked by the CCP. All membership invitation codes originally on online auction sites were also removed.

Example 3: A survey by US information security agency VPNPro revealed that 30% of the world's major VPN app vendors are mainland Chinese companies, whose user information is subject to disclosure or transfer upon requests of mainland Chinese authorities. The reasons why mainland Chinese enterprises expand operation of VPN companies are to gradually step up the difficulty of skirting mainland China's internet firewall, and to specify users through analyzing their patterns of accessing prohibited websites for the purpose of surveillance and even enforcing coercive measures.