As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising, China is apparently blocking Twitter — and maybe also “Blogger, Flickr… Livejournal, Tumblr, the Huffington Post and Microsoft’s Live.com, Hotmail, its MSN Space blog tool and its new search engine Bing,” says Fox News. Whew — what’s that leave, Drudge and About.com? China’s been practicing for the big shutdown by blocking smaller social media services.
In a statement, China explained that too many citizens were “surfing the Web or using ‘chat’ or ‘community’ sites such as Facebook or MySpace during the working day,” and with the blockage “we can easily manage Internet access and ensure that everyone is using the Web sensibly.” Whoops, that’s not China, that’s Websense.
Interestingly, even as it moves aggressively to censor the internet, China’s internet commerce is exploding: “Everything that happened to corporate America over decades — think the television and media studios build out of the 1950s, the greed of the 1980s, the dot com bubble, the build out of physical and IT infrastructure, current Web 2.0 and CleanTech innovation — is all happening to China at once,” says TechCrunch. It seems they want to prove that they can make a fortune on information technology without releasing their stranglehold on the information itself. Be assured that governments and businesses around the world are looking at this and licking their lips.