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China's Internet gets more shackles added to its existing burden

08 May 2017 | By Anish Chakraborty
China to have its internet regulations reinforced, again

China already has a strongly fortified Internet firewall in place to block elements that the government considers to be a misfit in their present scheme of things.

However, its latest aim is to make it "perfect" and to make sure any loophole that might have existed is dealt with.

China is running a parallel Internet and this is how it works.

In context: China to have its internet regulations reinforced, again

08 May 2017China's Internet gets more shackles added to its existing burden

Internet cultureThe rise of a parallel Internet

The way we perceive Internet and how the Chinese perceive Internet, is radically different.

We can easily access the information that we need; what the Chinese people get is a watered-down version, monitored by the government, which gives people exactly what the authority thinks is necessary.

This has given rise to an interesting Internet culture and the growth of copycats.

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Birth of copycats which eclipse their master versions

Chinese social mediaBirth of copycats which eclipse their master versions

While the Chinese do not have access to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are losing out.

A plethora of options come in the form of Baidu, RenRen, WeChat, Weibo, which almost mirror the services that are provided by their western counterparts.

In some cases, like in WeChat, the services are better than the western counterparts.

Rigorous monitoringHarder, precise and more efficient

In its latest attempt at censoring, the brief is precise and direct, "Strike hard against online rumours, harmful information, fake news, news extortion, fake media and fake reporters."

In order to make sure that the communist party continues having full control over exactly what content Chinese citizens should see or come across, their goal is to "strengthen and improve supervision over public opinion."

Three musketeersThe Chinese BAT theory

This initiative might have condoned the Western tech giants from making an entry into the largest economy of the modern world but at the same time has fostered the growth of China's IT triumvirate- Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent aka BAT.

The dynamics remain pretty basic; Chinese will use Baidu for search, Alibaba for their e-commerce needs and Tencent for social networking, completing the sphere.

Parallel InternetThe dance of the dragon and the hawk

Chinese government has been adamant in keeping the firewall intact, and curbing freedom of speech can never be a good thing.

On the other hand it becomes an interesting study of modern world crossroads, where two parallel streams of Internet run at a simultaneous pace; often taking on one another but never colliding with each other directly.

This is how the cookie crumbles.