In this age of high technology when information is delivered in real time. China is trying hard and has adequately learned how to protect its citizens from undesirable internet influence from other parts of the world. China alleges that the internet may bring in negative influence to its people and advocates responsible filtering of harmful information; and for this reason, the government has blocked thousands of websites through its remarkably sophisticated firewall system.
Learn how to Check if a website is blocked in China before you plan to settle and establish your brand in the country. Before heading there, you may want to know which sites are blocked that you depend on for your day to day business so that you can make well-informed decisions.
In this article, we will discuss some of the websites that are not available in China and what effects they may have on your business development over there.
Inaccessible Websites in China
In the current times and with advancements in technology, you don’t have to present yourself physically for meetings because we have Zoom. This platform has become almost ubiquitous in the remote video conferencing market field. Due to the trade war and subsequent ideological cold war that ensueed between the US and China, however, Zoom was caught in the crossfire resulting in certainfunctionalities inaccessible in China.
In August 2020, there was a new version released for use specifically in China because the international version is not fully functional. If you are travelling to China, it is essential to note that you cannot organize Zoom meetings, you can only join meetings created by others. Subscribe through their local Chinese partners if you want to host and created meetings.But the story is still evolving as Zoom works with authorities of both the US and China, so you may be lucky by the time when you go to China. Alternatively, you can use Microsoft Teams, which is fully functional in China, or opt for local conferencing flatforms such as Tencent VooV Meeting.
TikTok was developed by the parent company of Douyin, a Chinese social media platform, for the international market. The platform has gained momentum outside of China at an alarming rate, but China has blocked it despite being the website’s owner. If you want to go to China, you will not use this social media platform, instead you will use Douyin, the local equivalent of TikTok and its parent version.
If you are travelling to a place you are unfamiliar with, Google maps makeslife easier for you. In China, however, Google maps is unavailable. As a matter of fact, almost anything Google is blocked in China, including Gmail and Google’s various cloud services. The ban goes as far as the entire Google Play Store, though this restriction was placed by the US government.
You won’t get lost on the street in China, though, because Apple Maps are very popular and accurate as maps and GPS. Alternative local maps include the all popular Baidu Maps and Gaode Maps
WhatsApp has made communication more accessible, and through WhatsApp business, you can engage with your clients. In China, this is not possible because WhatsApp and other messaging apps like Telegram, Snapchat and Messenger are blocked unless you use VPN. Sending or receiving texts, voice messages, images, and videos are limited.
Clubhouse is a social networking app based on voice chat that is increasingly popular among young professionals. It was released in May 2020 but got blocked in February 2021 in China. If you plan to visit China and Clubhouse is your preferred app, consider an alternative, such as the Chinese super app, WeChat.
Wikipedia, Amazon, Google and DuckDuckGo are search engines that are not available in China. Searching via voice or text will give you trouble if you try to use these search engines. Use Bing and note the results are censored. Popular Chinese search engines include the tech behemoth Baidu, and Sogou, Shenma, etc.
In China, most Western-based news media houses have been blocked. These include the BBC, CNN, TIME, New York Times, Financial Times and Reuters. If you get your news information from these media outlets and go to China, you’d better have a few alternatives available.
Productivity as a website is a tool that affects your plan to do business. Any form of business has productivity tools that keep it up and running. In China, these tools are blocked; Google Play-you cannot download Android apps, Gmail, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Slack and Hoot Suite. If you are a programmer or developer, you may or may not have access to github. So check before you leave.
In conclusion, many websites are not available in China; we just discussed a few; read through them, especially if you are planning to visit China either for business or leisure purposes and be guided, will you?