Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: shutterstock

China may punch a hole in the 'Great Firewall' for select tourists

Hainan province is shaping up to be a global tourist hotspot.
277 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

shutterstock

The Chinese government's prohibition of popular social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube has spanned several years. China has previously flirted with relaxing its strict internet rules, but it stood firm and such promises never materialized. Now, its island province Hainan may take the lead -- all in the name of tourism.

Social media censorship affects Hainan just like the mainland, but according to Reuters, the tourist hotspot may partially unblock the Great Firewall in a move to entice foreign visitors. In April, China revealed that it intends to transform Hainan into a free-trade zone that would act as the foundation for an international tourism hub. It's part of a broader plan to boost tourism levels to 2 million annual visitors by 2020, which would allow visitors to use foreign credit cards at major attractions, encourage overseas companies to build regional headquarters, and, if the recent post regarding online restrictions from Hainan's provincial government is credible, permit access to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

The problem is, Shanghai has been an established free-trade zone since since 2013, and internet and social media censorship still hasn't abated -- which doesn't set a very good precedent for Hainan. The proposed plan did not outline whether Chinese social media users would receive the same sanctions, leading to uproar and cries of "reverse racism". To make matters worse, the original pledge was apparently taken down from the government website within 24 hours, leaving a social networking expansion in doubt.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
277 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Microsoft invites more people to test very rough Xbox features

Microsoft invites more people to test very rough Xbox features

View
Fitbit is reportedly in the early stages of exploring a sale

Fitbit is reportedly in the early stages of exploring a sale

View
Tilta mods Blackmagic's Pocket Cinema Camera with a tilt screen and SSD

Tilta mods Blackmagic's Pocket Cinema Camera with a tilt screen and SSD

View
Three Mile Island's infamous nuclear plant shuts down after 45 years

Three Mile Island's infamous nuclear plant shuts down after 45 years

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr