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Great Food, Wonderful People, Blocked

Amazing China, a country of great beauty, insane growth, overwhelming pollution, and underwhelming Internet access. Since I began my most recent trip to China, Google's decision to close its mainland operations and move to Hong Kong has been widely covered (an irate Chinese government responded with a massive sand storm). I tend to believe the story of Google accounts being hacked by the government, although I’m not sure cutting and running is the answer either.

I despise censorship and find it a bit creepy that the Chinese government employs a hoard of Internet goons to block whatever the key search words of the day may be. On this day for instance I’m sitting in the lobby of my hotel in Shenzhen and can’t access anything! Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler: I did access Flickr -- for a flickr.

To most Chinese, however, this is the most open and transparent it’s ever been. With a little effort and rerouting I could find a way to get online to any site. Newspapers, TV, and radio are free-streaming. Daily access to foreign visitors is the norm, and a fast-growing middle class allows many Chinese to gather frequent flyer miles. Our relationship with China, with a population of over one billion people, is much more complex than a tiff with Google.

This trip to China did not allow me much time to hit the galleries -- next trip. The next big event will be the World Expo, beginning May 1st in Shanghai: it's going to be big and impressive, but has anyone outside of the region heard of it? Or try the Canton Fair, and annual expo for everything -- literally. There will be 115,000 exhibitors. I just wish access to Blogger weren’t blocked so I could post this in a more timely way.


M Cordes said...

We know who you are American subversive Blogger person. No porn for you!

Mark Barry said...

It's so true. Any associated words or images about sex are blocked.

Anonymous said...

To get round the Great Firewall, download Freegate (or Hotspot Shield).

Mark Barry said...

Thanks Anon, have Hotspot and both update often as it a moving target.