If there is anything that has seen some serious outrage on the internet as well as WTO, it is the Great Chinese Firewall. It is quite a well-known fact that China has had some enmity towards the foreign companies that are trying to make a mark in the socialist economy. We have seen Google, Gmail, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook getting banned in China and the latest ones to enter this community was Microsoft OneDrive cloud sharing service and Flickr photo sharing service. China is currently blocking over 18,000 websites in its boundaries and there are thousands of people making this firewall impenetrable. In fact, at the beginning of this month, Line and Kakao Talk, two popular Asian mobile messaging apps had some issues in China. The users found many connectivity issues here while Tencent’s WeChat, a local app was working just fine.
Cyber-attacks from China
All this happens when the number of cyber-attacks from China is on a massive increase and many cyber security watchers are reporting such attacks to be originating from China and attacking many government websites of other countries as well. Apparently, this firewall does not block both ways. The country has long been isolated completely from the foreign world and there is hardly any news coming out from there to the world media. Information censorship has certainly become a huge issue and even the WTO and EU are taking these matters very seriously. These censorship directly interferes with the rules regarding digital barricading in the country. It is expected that the US should intervene and challenge the Chinese firewall in order to ensure free trade.
There are many things going on inside the firewall. There are alternative sites growing up in this market. Youku is a site that literally looks alike YouTube and Sina is another site that hosts weblogs in the country itself. This has created a lot of inequality in the two cyber separated regions- china and the rest of the world. Quite evidently, it is against the fair trade policies of the WTO. The $318 billion trade imbalance of 2013 is expected to grow further this year between US and China. Currently, more than 600 million people are being prevented to join Facebook, Twitter and Google along with a host of other sites. However, Chinese websites and products are being freely marketed across the US and have even raised $40 billion in various US stock exchanges till date.