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Can Zuckerberg Leap the Great Firewall of China?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the international-hoodie-of-mystery dept.

Businesses 102

Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is in China and has met with Robin Li, the head of Baidu, as he toured the facility of the biggest search engine in China. Zuckerberg has made no secret of his desire to expand in China, where Facebook has been blocked by the government censors' Great Firewall since 2008. On a recent global map of Facebook users, China appeared as a black spot, though it has a bigger internet population than any country on earth. 'How can you connect the whole world if you leave out a billion people?' says Zuckerberg. China already has two Facebook imitators: Kaixin, with 80 million users, and Renren, with 150 million, but these lack the economic clout and global reach of Zuckerberg's company although they do have the advantages of language and cultural awareness, as well as the protection of the Great Firewall. 'If Facebook wanted to enter China, it would not have to change its function, because netizens here are used to copycats already, but it must, like other international internet companies, obey Chinese laws and regulations,' said Hu Yong, a professor at Beijing University's School of Journalism and Communication."

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Not a chance (3, Interesting)

fussy_radical (1867676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34614946)

Facebook allows way too much communication and freedom. Both are dangerous to their regime.

Re:Not a chance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615128)

Given the recent Wikileaks situation, I'm almost tempted to mark this as trollbait...

More seriously, I recognize your point is valid, but don't go overboard with blanket statements like those.

Re:Not a chance (3, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615144)

Facebook allows way too much communication and freedom. Both are dangerous to their regime.

With enough money to be made: I am sure FB will find ways of adapting to meet China's requirements or at least reach a compromise, probably involving FB taking definitive actions to assist government spying and government censorship.

Re:Not a chance (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618076)

That was my first thought. I'm sure the Chinese government would LOVE to have Facebook operating in their country, under the right conditions. It could be the most powerful citizen monitoring tool by far, with relatively little political fallout since users voluntarily give up the information.

Re:Not a chance (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620166)

"...probably involving FB taking definitive actions to assist government spying and government censorship."

While you are probably right to some extent, I think the real issue, at least from the perspective of Chinese leadership, is that they are concerned that their citizens will be connecting to OURS.

They know they have subversives and they have "methods" of dealing with them--it is the average-Joe they are concerned about. They don't want their citizenry to see the rest of the world through the eyes of other people--they might end up wanting something they are not allowed to have (freedom comes to mind, but do we really have that?). They might find out what really happened in Tiananmen and things of that sort.

Re:Not a chance (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622358)

There is already an effective natural barrier: Language. Just seperating the sites would enforce that further.

Re:Not a chance (2)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615276)

China is a National Socialist state (aka "corporatism" to use Mussolini's wording).

Do you think Facebook would be allowed in 1930s Germany, or Italy, or Spain? No way. Likewise the free communication of ideas will never be allowed in modern Natsosh China, as that twitter girl discovered when she copied a Newspaper article that was disallowed by the state. I'm surprised they haven't had book burnings yet, but maybe that will come soon, courtesy of the Minitru.

Re:Not a chance (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34616646)

Remember the way Facebook treated the "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" event.

The idea that Facebook is a company that will actually try to protect free speech is pure nonsense. They'll bend over to appease the illegitimate Chinese regime in a heartbeat. Good luck having a "human rights for China" page, unless your definition of "human rights" is "throwing anyone who disagrees with the Chinese Communist Party into a work gulag".

Re:Not a chance (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34617586)

Facebook would be happily allowed into a fascist state. Especially in return for being allowed to do business, they offered unfettered access of their database of that nation, and other nation's to that country's intelligence services. This is my fear about Zukerberg making a deal with the devil, that US and European data "accidently" gets replicated to PLA servers. Of course, one should never put anything on FB that shouldn't be public, but on the other hand, this data shouldn't be easily available for data miners in a hostile nation.

Re:Not a chance (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34617926)

Meh, misspelled Zuckerberg. My feeling is that FB will be allowed to operate... provided they "cooperate" and let an interest like The9 have a controlling stake, and would mean that FB would have to hand to the PLA the source code of their backend application.

Great deal for China -- another technology obtained for free, without any IP limitations (patents/copyrights/trademarks). For FB? Maybe it might bring in some money through ads, but is it worth the cost?

If it were me, I'd say no, however I'm one of those boring people who believes in security and privacy over expanding the bottom line.

Re:No mention of TIME POY? (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625656)

Meh, after reading http://time.com/poy [time.com] 's spread on Zuckerberg, (hey, I was on a 5-hour flight, and had first read all the runner-ups and practically all of the other articles), I actually don't feel so badly about him anymore. I still don't really care for FB, but people use it, so that's why I maintain a presence there. But the TIME article helped vet out some of the theory and philosophy behind it, which was more useful than most of the third-hand descriptions I get about Zuckerberg from the various protests and even "The Social Network" movie I didn't bother seeing.

Re:Not a chance (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622882)

You misunderstand the nature of information control in authoritarian regimes. There are those which would watch every single word you utter, yes - like NK. But those are hardly practical, and pragmatic dictators know it. It's far easier - and just as efficient - to control only the mass media. And even then you don't just ban it - you let it flow, but keep an eye on it in case you see anything subversive.

That is, in fact, precisely how Internet works in China today already. Why should Facebook be any different? If someone posts the tank man pic in his profile, that profile would go down - but so long as people are sharing how cool their new iPhones are (which is 99% of what's on FB), there's no threat to the regime.

In another shocker, Nazis didn't ban telephones, either, nor did they wiretap every single line in the country preemptively.

As for book burnings, if you knew anything about the history of Communist China, you'd also know that they already had them aplenty. They're way past that stage now.

Re:Not a chance (5, Interesting)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615372)

Facebook allows way too much communication and freedom. Both are dangerous to their regime.

I believe the Chinese government would love Facebook: all those people offering up the intimate details of their lives and identifying who their friends and family are, complete with photographs! If I were the Chinese gov't, I'd simply demand Facebook give me access to all of the user data. Malcontents could quickly and easily be dealt with.

Re:Not a chance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615748)

If Zuckerberg does that, he is going to hell. No question about it.

Re:Not a chance (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 3 years ago | (#34616436)

For some reason I'm reminded of this quote from Lestat:

"What if there is no hell, or they don't want us there?"

Re:Not a chance (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618188)

I wish there was a hell :-(

Your own personal hell (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618396)

I wish there was a hell :-(

There is, it's called "defeatism".

Re:Not a chance (1)

Saint Gerbil (1155665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34616298)

Or China could pull another "alleged" Gmail stunt and hack their way in and pull a list of Malcontents...

Re:Not a chance (1)

kokojie (915449) | more than 3 years ago | (#34617712)

They already have sites like that, facebook imitators are prospering in China. Facebook is just trying to get a piece of the pie.

Fools gold and rigged games (2)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618632)

I believe the Chinese government would love Facebook: all those people offering up the intimate details

Perhaps what they'll like most is to get access to some data that is *not* from Chinese citizens. Anyway I don't see how things with China and the West will end well, with both having contradicting rigged rules of the same rigged game, and mountains of weapons and no good intentions. Most companies, and slowly countries, just end up as controlled suppliers of skills, technology, a few parts, all the customers, and a lot of money. "Open markets" were always a rigged game, and just became a fool's game when China plays with their rules.

Re:Fools gold and rigged games (1)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621004)

I'd mod you +1 Insightful if I could.

Re:Not a chance (1)

vampire_baozi (1270720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619830)

They don't need Facebook for this. As the summary noted, Kaixin and Renren (Xiaonei) are well entrenched. I and many friends have been served warning and had status updates/links/journals deleted by the censors, with a nice PM to let us know to to repost it.

Chinese "copycats" of facebook are in full compliance. Facebook would need to comply just as well, if not more, to try to unseat them. If it is less cooperative than the Chinese companies, they will be of little value to the censors.

Re:Not a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34623902)

Facebook allows way too much communication and freedom. Both are dangerous to their regime.

Ah! Just like WikiLeaks!

Re:Not a chance (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34627278)

It will be interesting to see, what will be asked of them to do for their app to be brought down to a version that china will accept.

Who the hell? (5, Informative)

richy freeway (623503) | more than 3 years ago | (#34614956)

Mark ZuckeNberg?? How the hell did so many spelling mistakes slip through the net?

Re:Who the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615050)

Because he's a douche.

Re:Who the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615062)

And bizarrely i wasn't the Guardian (or Grauniad, as it is often affectionately misspelled in acknowledgement of the number of typographical errors it tends to have) making the spelling mistake for once!

Re:Who the hell? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615138)

i wasn't the Grauniad either.

Re:Who the hell? (2)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615216)

While we're at it, why isn't "internet" capitalized? "Internet" is a proper noun, thus is capitalized. Even my browser is smart enough to stick a wavy red line underneath it if I spell it with a lowercase 'i'.

Re:Who the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615286)

internet is a connection of two (or more) nets. Not a ding an sich.

P.s. my browser only sticks a wavy read line underneath "sich" here. Not underneath "internet", even I I didn't use a capital letter, as is the custom at the beginning of a sentence.

Re:Who the hell? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615384)

Probably because it's from the Guardian / more and more publications outside of N. America use such spelling now (also because many languages have more lax guidelines for capitalization... (*))

Not without some merit - the word is now perceived as being in the same category as television or telephone, is becoming a generic term ((*) ...or - many countries became really connected only when viewing the network in generic way already common); Phonograph was written like I just did. Plus - initially "internet" was a common noun, too.

Re:Who the hell? (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618964)

sucky browser, mate!

Re:Who the hell? (1)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615776)

We at Glorious Republic of China news take grammer very serios.

Re:Who the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34616012)

Mark.....is that you?

Re:Who the hell? (2)

stretch0611 (603238) | more than 3 years ago | (#34616626)

Personally, I prefer to spell his name starting with a "F"

Re:Who the hell? (1)

Ozymandias_KoK (48811) | more than 3 years ago | (#34622560)

Fark Zuckerberg?

So Naive. What's the Game Plan, Mark? (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34614960)

"How can you connect the whole world if you leave out a billion people?"

China's response will probably be something along the lines of "How can you modify Facebook so that we are not only able to censor it but violators are automatically reported to a government agency?" Time and time again it's been demonstrated in China: if you can play ball, you're in.

The quote following the above is pretty indicative of what Zuckerberg fails to understand:

"Our theory is that if we can show that we as a western company can succeed in a place where no other country has, then we can start to figure out the right partnerships we would need to succeed in China on our terms."

So naive. It's that simple, huh? You weren't paying attention when Google went in, made friends with scholars and scientists and was promptly put in their place when the government tired of their novelty?

You're the copycat now, Mark. You are going to go into China thinking that you're are going to turn the tide and you're going to be met with the same immovable wall anyone who has sought to change the PRC has faced. But what you are going to have to do is look at how the Facebook copycats have served up private data and fingering individuals for putting the wrong number in their status update. And you're pretty much going to be told what to do and either you're going to do it or you're going to be back at square one. You're an outsider coming into China so you might as well drop the whole "This is how it's going to change" attitude. You're just going to be embarrassed when you find out that any deviation to their laws and customs puts your right to host a website at risk in their country.

"A western company can succeed in a place where no other country has?" So what are you going to do different? Congratulations, you made friends with Baidu. All that means is now someone can tell you the optimal way to achieve vertical height when the CCP screams "JUMP!"

My money is on you going in there thinking you're going to relax censorship only to find out that you're going to be one of their ultimate tools to enforce it. And then there's going to be this massive pile of money on the table and you can either take that and expand in China by wiping your ass with morals and ethics or you can walk away. I bet you get on your knees and bark like a dog while spinning it as a 'Western company succeeding!' And if you want the most money, that's exactly what you should do!

Re:So Naive. What's the Game Plan, Mark? (1)

228e2 (934443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615208)

I disagree with the sentiment that Zuck will balk under the money pressure. Well, THAT kind of money pressure.

Hate him, love him, or fall somewhere in the middle, I really cant argue that he has made many financial missteps. And if wants to open his pocketbook to 1.7 billion more people, conceding a few things may not be the worst of ideas. Its not like Google couldnt have made it work, they just wouldnt play by the host country's rules. How is that being put in their place? And how is it different when the US puts Google in its place?

Re:So Naive. What's the Game Plan, Mark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615250)

I bet you get on your knees and bark like a dog while spinning it as a 'Western company succeeding!'

Chinaman1: Ha ha... stupid greedy Amerikan... I make him bark like dog.

Chinaman2: Okay. Let not be too cruel. Give him treat now.

Chinaman1: Ok Zucky, here your bone.

Chinaman2: Aww... he wagging his tail

Chinaman1: Ok, time for dinner now.

Chinaman3: Good, me make dog stew. (grabs cleaver)

Re:So Naive. What's the Game Plan, Mark? (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615284)

You know the story of how he cheated the two Harvard guys by working on Facebook instead of their HarvardConnect site, most probably stealing plenty of ideas in the process. Everyone who knows that story already knows he has no morals or ethics. This is just a PR stunt to publicly justify his next expensive ass-wiping.

Re:So Naive. What's the Game Plan, Mark? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618578)

I agree. Zuckerberg is the douchey greedhead we all knew back in our IT/CompSci college courses, who seemed to be a wannabe-web-boomer late to the party, who had sweet talk that could sell a fridge to an Eskimo but barely struggled through the coursework and rode on everyone else's coattails in group projects. Normally he'd now be working in the area of IT that requires high sleaze and low technical skill - sales.

But the difference here is that Zuckerberg's little project was picked up by the global fad cycle and now he's a multi-bajillionaire. Imagine how awful it would be if the Zuckerberg you knew back in college struck it rich by accident x_x

Re:So Naive. What's the Game Plan, Mark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615310)

What most Americans don't understand is that outside the major cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou,Shenzhen, etc... ) which has a combined population of a hundred million or so, the rest of the country lives in poverty - it's a Third World Country. Those people have very little money - meaning, all the advertising you're planning on doing is wasted on people who can't afford what you're advertising.

Re:So Naive. What's the Game Plan, Mark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34625744)

Where the fuck did you get the idea that anyone working at Facebook has morals?

FB & China are both totalitarian (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34614968)

Kinda funny really. Facebook too is all about intrusion into your personal life. The big difference is that China does it for political control while Facebook does it for money. Imagine if they fully team up. Ouch.

P.S. The opposite of both China and Facebook? The Metagovernment [metagovernment.org] of course.

Re:FB & China are both totalitarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615588)

So how long until Facebook starts lining people up against a wall and shooting them? Or will they do this virtually, "killing" profiles of face-dissidents.

Re:FB & China are both totalitarian (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618462)

don't they sort of already do this with some facebook groups?

Re:FB & China are both totalitarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34617108)

China and Facebook both probably hate the idea of Metagovernment equally. China because it is real democracy. Facebook because there is no good way to monetize it.

Not impossible (1)

denshao2 (1515775) | more than 3 years ago | (#34614980)

All he needs to do is enforce censorship and turn over all private data to the government.

Re:Not impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615060)

Weird when you put it that way.
Misguided though they may look to us, China does what they do to make their vision of a better world.
Wonderful though they may look to us, Facebook does what they do to get stinking rich off of us.

Re:Not impossible (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615398)

Wonderful though they may look to us, Facebook does what they do to get stinking rich off of us.

Speak for yourself. Neither do they look wonderful to me, nor do they make any money off of me.

Re:Not impossible (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34617766)

Yes. My question is WHOSE private data. The data from chineese citizens or ALL data?

Zuckenberg? (1)

GordoTheGeek (608960) | more than 3 years ago | (#34614992)

Changed his name, did he?

Re:Zuckenberg? (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615040)

Changed his name, did he?

Yes someone hacked his original facebook account

It's a good thing, for control. (2)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34614996)

Maybe they'll figure out like the CIA that tracking the wants of every citizen then throwing in things like facial recognition is a good thing, for government.

Too late . . . (3, Interesting)

228e2 (934443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615042)

I know scores of people in China that use Facebook on a daily basis . . . .

Re:Too late . . . (1)

vampire_baozi (1270720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619896)

And I know hundreds who don't. Highly Western-oriented users will use Facebook. I have about ~400 Chinese friends on Renren/Xiaonei who are all students studying in the US, at my university (or close by). The ones who speak English, look for foreign boyfriends/girlfriends, and plan to stay in America use Facebook.

Those are the “scores" (maybe 50 or so). The other 350? They're in the US, but even if they have a FB account, they use Chinese sites almost exclusively. They, and the millions of Chinese not technically savvy enough (or without the interest) to go around or under the firewall are the market Zuckerberg wants to target.

Internot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615074)

"How can you connect the whole world if you leave out a billion people?" says Zuckerberg

How can you connect the whole world if you leave out an idea?

BTW kudos to the editors on "Zuckenberg" that one made me LOL

Zuckenberg can do it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615102)

... but only with enough Blinkenlights.

Zuckerberg is a Genius (1)

invid (163714) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615114)

He changed his name to Zuckenberg to fool the Chinese censors who were triggering the firewall based on his name. PS: Zuckerberg means "suger mountain" in German. Zuckenberg means "twitch mountain", a much cooler name.

Re:Zuckerberg is a Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615228)

If he really wanted to fit in with the Chinese, he would've changed his name to Zucklebulg, just so those silly bastards wouldn't have to worry about pronouncing the R's

Re:Zuckerberg is a Genius (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618848)

Sounds way more evil too. Zuckerberg? You picture a pasty little white guy anyone could take in a fight (which is exactly right). Zuckenberg? Now you picture a big bald white guy with a monocle and an evil grin, slowly petting his persian cat, while overlooking his doomsday device factory and chuckling to himself.

they already have their own 'facebook' clone (0, Redundant)

jklinken (60789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615130)

and they call it kaixin ('happy net'): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaixin001 [wikipedia.org]

Re:they already have their own 'facebook' clone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615446)

No shit, it's even mentioned in the summary retard.

Re:they already have their own 'facebook' clone (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615804)

Happy net?!

Sounds like a double-plus good name.

Zuckerberg should buy Renren for $20 billion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615152)

That is even a bargain price!

Social Networking in a Totalitarian State (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615196)

doesn't sound much fun. Either you are going to be very boring, or you will always be testing the limits of an authoritarian regime. Neither of which can last for very long.

It's like wearing an alcohol detector bracelet at a beer garden during Oktoberfest.

Re:Social Networking in a Totalitarian State (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615282)

China is not North Korea, it is not a totalitarian state. Authoritarian? Yes, but those two words are not synonymous.

No worries, folks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615322)

...as we'll soon all be within the Great Firewall of China.

Only the Chinese government will have to tighten theirs a notch or two, to comply with DMCA, RIAA, DHS, ThinkOfTheChildren, whatever.

Being the jolly sort of people they are, they'll be happy to oblige.

(What sort of sentient beast this captcha machine is: "consent")

Why is Zuckerberg Worshipped? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615328)

Why is Zuckerberg being worshipped as the saviour and freedom fighter for the Internet and all its denizens?

Sorry, I don't mean to troll, but even looking at this article's title, it seems clear that it's expected that only Zuckerberg is able to break down the walls and barriers into China, and destroy a government which opposes the Western World's points of view and politics, and instead fill China was happy rainbow bunnies and unicorns that happily cooperate with people with wildly differing points of view.

Rant over, feel free to feed the troll, I suppose.

Re:Why is Zuckerberg Worshipped? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618932)

BECUZ HE MAED FACEBOOK AND FACEBOOK IS TEH BEST THING EVAR AMIRITE? - Average Joe

(It's nice that I can disable ads, but I'd rather be able to override the caps filter)

Is facebook really blocked? (3, Interesting)

gauauu (649169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615408)

I used to live in China, so I personally know quite a few Chinese people. And loads of them have facebook accounts (and use them regularly) And these aren't people necessarily tech-savvy enough to work around the firewall with proxies, etc...they just use facebook.

So, while I doubt this story is completely wrong or made up, I don't understand. Do they block it in some places and not others? Do I just know a few weird outliers that somehow managed to view it despite it being blocked? Is there something more to the story? I don't get it.

Perhaps the great firewall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615462)

is part myth and FUD spun by capitalist media and governments to suit their own ends and backed up by the chinese who want to show the illusion of control?

Re:Perhaps the great firewall (3, Insightful)

gauauu (649169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615530)

Replying the AC that you might not see due to a score of 0:
Perhaps the great firewal is part myth and FUD spun by capitalist media and governments to suit their own ends and backed up by the chinese who want to show the illusion of control?

No, it's real. When I lived there, there were definitely sites that were blocked. I do (or more correctly, DID) homebrew gameboy advance development, and the best site for GBA homebrew development (http://gbadev.org/), was among the sites blocked, which drove me crazy (really? Why is THAT site blocked?) Various blogs and such were also blocked. As far as I can tell, the firewall is there.

Re:Perhaps the great firewall (1)

clockwise_music (594832) | more than 3 years ago | (#34621464)

I was there last week. Facebook is blocked. Twitter is blocked, Youtube is blocked. Blogspot is blocked. Yes, the firewall is there.

Re:Is facebook really blocked? (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615826)

And loads of them have facebook accounts (and use them regularly)

Real facebook accounts, or accounts with some Chinese facebook look-alike?

Re:Is facebook really blocked? (1)

gauauu (649169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34616220)

Real facebook accounts, or accounts with some Chinese facebook look-alike?

Real. As in, they are my friends on facebook now, which is how we stay in touch.

Re:Is facebook really blocked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34618744)

They have to be using some sort of proxy. I have been all over China, from Beijing to Shenzhen, and in every location it is blocked. I am only able to connect to Facebook by going through my company's VPN.

I'm sure it's not difficult to find a proxy that gets around the great firewall if one looks around.

Re:Is facebook really blocked? (2)

kikito (971480) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615926)

I've not lived in China, but I traveled a lot through it last summer, for one month, moving from place to place every two days on average.

I can confirm first hand that the same websites that were unavailable in some regions were completely open (and even fast) on others. It seemed completely random - on big cities it changed from district to district.

Interestingly enough, I found less restrictions in rural areas (when there was any connectivity at all, it wasn't very firewalled).

Re:Is facebook really blocked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34616324)

Facebook is permanently blocked for sure. Same goes for YouTube, Vimeo, Blogger etc. Wikipedia works, but no their images. Google works untill you type in some bad words.

Slashdot was actually blocked for a few days aswell after I tried to click a story about Wikileaks and China. I feel this is pretty common with news sites following different stories - they go black for a short time.

Of course you can work you're way around these things.

Let's see what happens now... xie xie

Re:Is facebook really blocked? (2)

fliptout (9217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34616544)

Where in China did you live? If you were teaching English or doing, ahem, missionary work in the boondocks, you might not have seen much censorship.

Facebook is blocked in the places I lived/visited recently. What is blocked seems to vary by region as others here have noted. There might even be variation neighborhood to neighborhood within the larger cities.

As to your friends on FB:
1. Software to get around the firewall is very common. It's widely sold in IT shops.
2. I know some companies in China pay off the guys who install the connection to somehow disable the great firewall.

I lived in China and visit relatively often, and I find the misinformation among slashdotters quite frustrating. For example, Slashdot is not blocked to my knowledge, nor has it ever been blocked.

Re:Is facebook really blocked? (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34617452)

Do they block it in some places and not others?

Chinese don't have to block it. They need to implement alternative version first. Then they can block the original.

Re:Is facebook really blocked? (1)

wall0645 (1665631) | more than 3 years ago | (#34618352)

When I was on vacation in Beijing, the computers in the hostel I stayed at had access to facebook. This was in December 2008.

But I thought only Nixon could go to China (1)

maweki (999634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615468)

But I thought only Nixon could go to China

If the entire article can be summed up to "no", (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615508)

Then don't don't write the article. And don't post it.

Furthermore, "two Facebook imitators"!? I'm sorry, have you completely forgotten MySpace and Friendster? Do you consider Wolfenstein a "Doom-clone"?
I've got to chaulk this one up to the cash cult. Someone makes a buck and so they must be a god.

Re:If the entire article can be summed up to "no", (2)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615870)

Furthermore, "two Facebook imitators"!? I'm sorry, have you completely forgotten MySpace and Friendster? Do you consider Wolfenstein a "Doom-clone"?

Try visiting one of the imitators mentioned in the summary and see if you can figure out what makes “Facebook imitators” different from MySpace and Friendster.

Hint: they’re shamelessly copied off Facebook, with different logos.

Re:If the entire article can be summed up to "no", (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#34620042)

...ah. Well I didn't do that. I guess I'll take your expert opinion on cloning. I think I might need a firefox extension that will slap me whenever I tack on kneejerk reactions like that.

Re:If the entire article can be summed up to "no", (2)

kikito (971480) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615952)

"Someone makes a buck and so they must be a god."

Well maybe not a god, but someone to imitate - if you are into buck making.

Real reason why Facebook is censored (2)

peterindistantland (1487953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615560)

As far as I know, facebook wasn't banned until the 2008 Tibet riot, when facebook was used to rally people to anti-government demonstrations. As said in the summary, a facebook clone, Renren, is extremely popular in China with 150 million users, among other social networking sites such as dating-oriented ones. It has pretty much all the fancy features of facebook plus its own innovations, but it's NOT censored, because i) Most of its users are Chinese. What Chinese government really fears is the connection with foreigners in the case of Facebook and Twitter. Though it sounds paradoxical, most people calling for more democracy and freedom in China are foreigners and Chinese expatriates in western countries, rather than people within China who tend to be rather indifferent. ii) Renren is the product an indigenous company in China. Therefore the government naturally expects that the company is more cooperative and controllable. LinkedIn is obviously also not banned, because its scope is limited to professional activities. It's not likely that people will use it to promote anti-government demonstrations. In short, social networking is big business in China and censorship is very selective.

This one is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615780)

Let's go over this obvious question:

Things missing from Zuckerberg:

Morals
Ethics
Concern for fellow humans if he cannot profit from this in some way

Shit, he's all set to leap the firewall, on to the next obvious question of the day from a "journalist"

Mr Zuckerberg will burn out fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34615866)

too young, too inexperienced. 3 - 5 years max

Berlin Redux? (1)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#34615898)

Zuckerburg: Mr. Jintao, tear down that wall! (And sign up for my ridiculously useless and exploitative web service!)

Re:Berlin Redux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34616562)

OK, that was funny, but I should point out that Jintao is Hu's first name, not last.

That meeting can have more than one benefit. (2)

formfeed (703859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34616014)

Zuckerberg wants to get into the Chinese market, but he also wants more cooperation with search engines. Through a cooperation with F*c*book, Baidu could expand outside of China. Double win for Zuckerberg, he always had problems with "don't be evil".

Re:That meeting can have more than one benefit. (1)

vampire_baozi (1270720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34619936)

As much as Baidu might like to expand, they're a Chinese language search engine. They don't have a "Baidu English". They're like Yandex or Naver: they do the domestic market, and they do it very well. I'm curious as to what Baidu wants that Xiaonei/Renren and Kaixin aren't giving them.

sure can (1)

skywatcher2501 (1608209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34616600)

but he should be very aware of the dogs once he's at the other side.

If he does win... (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34616794)

again, I will have to thoroughly second this article [theonion.com] :

2010 was a landmark year for Zuckerberg: He watched his net worth surpass that of Steve Jobs and of Rupert Murdoch, while also expanding his online empire to include geo-location services, high-res photo-sharing, and enhanced personalization features, all of which just proved that the redheaded little dickface has really got our number and will always have us lining up and begging for more. Goddammit.

Re:If he does win... (1)

JSTACAT (1184731) | more than 3 years ago | (#34625378)

There has never been such a powerful surveillance tool in the history of the world. 500 hundred million people -voluntarily- submitting every detail of their lives to the FBi machine.

  That is why a feckless fellow like zuckerberg can do what he is doing.
  Those billions? Pure sentiment, and, the poor fellow doesn't seem to know that he's as disposable as a few sheets of charmin.
  On FBi ? you might as well cc the FBI all your communications and save the effort of logging in.
[trollface.jpg]

Can the Chinese leap the great censorship FB (1)

akayani (1211810) | more than 3 years ago | (#34624574)

Given my experience with having accounts on Facebook deleted without any reason being given and the latest being a request for and I quote here...

>>>
We apologize, but the only way we will be able to verify ownership of this account is if you reply to this email with an attachment of scanned, government-issued photo identification confirming your full name and date of birth. If you do not have access to a scanner, a digital image of your photo ID will be accepted as well. Rest assured that we will permanently delete your ID from our servers once we have used it to verify the authenticity of your account.

Again, please note that we will not be able to process your request unless you send in proper identification. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thanks,

Liam
User Operations
Facebook
<<<

Government Issued ID... WTF... Who is that being passed onto? A student email and a credit card are NOT enough?

You would have rocks in your head to participate in Facebook from China under those conditions.

Yes He can (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34625244)

Many in the US would like to see the captain of FBi hop over that wall, and into treasonous territory. After having damaged the reasonable privacy rights of people all over the world and gotten rich doing so, its time for Karma to serve him
  China is the right place for this to happen.
  And captain FBi surname name invites a pun, as goes naked into treason forest, all unweeting.

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