Chinese City Allegedly Pursues Open Internet Plan

by Sam Dean - Jun. 30, 2011Comments (2)

At OStatic, we've frequently covered one of the most anti-open technology trends in existence: censorship in regions of the world that don't support open Internet principles. There are many free tools available, including open source tools, that allow for anonymous browsing in these regions, and China remains one of the most restrictive regions of the world in terms of Internet censorship. Now, though, one Chinese city is proposing to break the mold, creating a haven in the center of China for a free Internet.

Chongqing is a city found in inland China, away from the bustling port cities, that already has an unusual concentration of technology companies who call it home. eBay and its PayPal division operate in Chongqing, as do many familiar tech titans. One other notable fact about Chongqing is that it has a population of 32 million people. How many cities in the U.S. have that many people?

As IDG News reports:

"A cloud development zone being constructed in the Chinese city of Chongqing has drawn scrutiny for an alleged plan to offer uncensored Internet access, but only for foreign businesses."

 According to Chinese media reports, Chongqing would allow foreign businesses Internet access without requiring them to be subject to Chinese web filtering systems, with the approval of the city government. Without a doubt, this proposal will face backlash, but Chongqing's size, and the number of foreign technology companies found there, could boost the idea.

IDG News adds that there are already Chinese citizens who are crying foul about the unfairness of the plan:

"People commenting on social-networking sites have slammed the zone as a throwback to the days of 'No dogs and no Chinese allowed,' a reference to how local Chinese were prohibited in the early 20th century from entering certain foreigner communities."

Of course, the right thing for the Chinese government to do is allow everyone access to a free Internet, but if the alleged Chongqing plan goes through, a sizable number of Internet users may have such access, squarely in the center of China. That would be a start.


Randy Clark uses OStatic to support Open Source, ask and answer questions and stay informed. What about you?


I think that internet restriction is pretty stupid. It sucks that China is so restrictive, but this seems like it could be a BIG step if this city is able to get an open internet policy. Good luck to them!

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right when the u.s is stepping up its propaganda campaigns. great time for China to let down its guard. you think China is stupid or what? think about why the internet is censored in the first place. look at the colour revolutions that the u.s has caused in the past. i doubt China wants another colour revolution. i know the u.s has other dirty tricks up its sleeve, but for China to just allow this to happen is stupid. instead of taking down censors, China should step up its censors. MORE western websites should be blocked, given the filth that is on them. if you are truly against censorship, then let us see in real time what the u.s troops are doing in iraq. whats the matter? afraid to show us the abuses that go on there?

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