There seems to be a change of heart with Chinese government concerning Google and Facebook. The government has said that the two companies can make another entrance into China as long as they operate under the ambits of China laws.
Cyberspace Administration of China deputy director, Ren Xianliang, who is in charge of internet governance at a press briefing yesterday prior to the World Internet Conference gave the indication when he said that the country operates with open policy and welcomes anyone that will not cause harm to the country by having interests that will conflict with it or its people.
Google had in 2010 closed its search engine in the China while Facebook, on the other hand, was blocked from operating in the country since 2009.
This development led one of the dailies, People’s Daily, its English-language version to publish an article that in its inscription said Facebook is welcome to come into China if only it will abide by the laws of the country.
What Ren means by “China laws” is nothing but the censorship apparatus that it has put up which is strict and would not allow users of the internet to spread or seek information that would affect the Communist Party. This is what the party also advocates.
When Google started giving signs of leaving the country in 2010, Jiang Yu, spokesperson for the foreign ministry at a press briefing said that their internet is open and that the government welcomes corporations from all over the world to do business with them as long as it is not outside the law in China.
The local internet companies with the help of workers and algorithms worked hand in hand with the government and censored some keywords and curbed some online dissent while making user information available to the authorities when demanded. In the meantime, the country’s Great Firewall blocked users from having access to some overseas sites which included Google and Facebook because they do not censor their content as the government would like.
All these attempts did not mean that the internet giants are giving up on the fight yet. Already, Facebook has an office in China, Beijing precisely with many believing that the recent visit Mark Zuckerberg is paying is a move that will herald a big project it has in mind. There are also rumors that Google is making moves to make an app store available in China.
For anyone requiring to make use of the social media, these two big companies would need to in a way censor the content that people have access to and also incarcerate those that the state sees as threats to its government.
Some internet users in China are not happy with the statement from Ren and questioned the law that Ren is precisely referring to when in the actual sense China allows freedom of speech and of the press.