Internet Censorship in China

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Ruoxuan (Catherine) Yuan
Internet Censorship has negative effects on China
Censorship in China has gained much attention recently because of the conflict between Google and the Chinese government’s self-censorship policies. In fact, censorship has been practiced since ancient China and the intensity only increases by the years. Nowadays, the most notable measure of censorship is being done on the Internet. More and more restrictions have been put into actions by the Chinese government, which make the life of Chinese Internet users, the Chinese netizens, very inconvenient. With the intensity of censorship increasing and the censoring technology improving, Internet censorship has mainly negative effects on Chinese society. To start off, the current censorship situation needs to be described. In China, censorship is determined by the ruling party, the Communist Party of China, so Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, special administrative regions that are mostly self-governing, are not fully affected by it. But in mainland China, Internet censorship has great impacts on the society. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, which people use everyday around the world, are banned in mainland China. Every time a Chinese netizen tries to open these sites, a blank page with bold words “404 not found” appears. This is very inconvenient for Chinese netizens. Moreover, the number of websites that are inaccessible is increasing. Also, Chinese government has forced search engines to adopt the self-censorship policies that force them to filter the search results for certain words. This triggered the withdrawal of Google from the mainland Chinese market. Attempting to search those “sensitive” terms not only results in little or no information being displayed but also in the shutdown of one’s Internet connection for a short period of time. Some people even suspect that doing so may lead to being spied on and arrested by the government. With so many coercive protocols, Internet censorship affects China in many different aspects, especially in economy, politics and culture.

First of all, to boost the national economy, the Chinese government believes that using Internet censorship for economic protectionism is a good method. However, Internet censorship actually hinders the development of economy inside China. No matter in which nation, the best way to improve its economy is to utilize the most updated technologies and to focus on scientific innovations. China has always emphasized the development of science and technology and on learning the latest innovations from foreign countries, and the ex-leader of China Xiaoping Deng famously claimed that science and technology constitute the primary productive forces. However the new technology and innovations need a market of free competition in order to expand their influence and earn more benefits. Without good management ideas and marketing theories, these technologies cannot be applied properly in order to produce qualified commodities. This is exactly what the Chinese Internet censorship has caused. According to the national condition of China, a market combining socialism and capitalism is needed to rejuvenate the economy. However, the Chinese government proclaims its socialist ideology and promotes local businesses in a socialist manner and refuses the influx of some constructive theories, which may contain capitalist ideas in order to “maintain the stability of the Communist Party and to create a harmonious society.” The restricted and narrow-minded economy strategy of the Chinese government, resulted from the Internet censorship, has undermines the development of the Chinese economy.

The Chinese Internet censorship not only blocks useful information, but also interrupts communication between companies, therefore negatively affecting the Chinese economy. Nowadays there is growing cooperation among companies from different countries, which is an important way to promote economic growth in a...
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