Chinese Internet Filtering Holding Back Innovation?

In china seo by Michael Michelini6 Comments

Just like we say, its about who we surround ourselves with. Spending a few days talking to friends in Shenzhen China and I realize most are not on top of the newest internet technologies….and I can’t blame them….its so hard being in China when the government is filtering and blocking the majority of new “Social” websites such as foursquare, dropbox, google documents, etc. Sure, I have met some pretty high tech friends here that have helped me better get around it, but that still means you will always be one step behind……

Its such a stupid game of WHACK A MOLE. I remember when twitter was getting blocked, and there were tons of new API versions popping up all over, and people were tweeting, you can break 1 twitter, but you can’t break a million.

It is such a waste of time, the people that are employed to monitor the internet, filter, block – and then the other side rehosting, rebuilding, learning to get around it in different ways….SO STOPID

Sure there can be the version that the Chinese government approves, the Chinese company version that cooperates and understands the governemnts reasoning and requests for filtering such information, reporting to Beijing about profiles it has banned and information is has controlled….
But in any system where there must be a central point controlling the flow of information, BY DEFINITION it will limit the creativity and growth.
Stepping back and looking at any LARGE corporation in America….they suffer the same issues….by being too big, and having too much “Red tape” for a worker’s new R&D project to be recognized creates so much buracracy that the idea is best off being funded in a new startup venture – where ideas can blossom and new ideas are supported rather then scrutinized.
This will be a rather shorter post, but just one that again and again keeps holding me back from seeing China as a technology leader in the near future. Sure it has amazing growth domestically, and there is a growing middle class with savings to spend and a hunger for foreign products and brands……but it is an almost isolated entity from the world…..
Maybe it fits the idea that the old “great wall” to keep people outside of China (or was it to keep people in?) The great INTERNET firewall is working to keep “ideas” outside of China….keep (or try) to keep its people inside, and at the same time, keeping innovation and creativity frozen and trapped inside some beautiful minds of the young Chinese I have met these past few years.
That is the saddest part….the younger generation in China…..such a conflict of their parents and grandparents conservative ways as well as the government……surrounded by their new curiousity and exposure to the Western world and technology…..
How long can the new, young generation in China stay restricted by this government filtering of information and ideas?

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  1. I totally agree what you said being held back from seeing China as a technological leader. It’s not only the internet filtering that can stunt innovation, but also the way they regulate its use for the youth.

    I recently read an article in Reader’s Digest about a boy who died in a Salvation Training Camp in rural China. By any chance, did you hear about that? The boy was sent there by his parents to be rehabilitated from ‘his internet addiction’ August last year. He died on the same day he arrived at the camp. the father recently realized that his son was not even addicted, and that he probably used the internet as an outlet, or a way to relieve the stress he felt. I read there were 200 more of rehab camps! If the internet is seen as a threat to public health, to the extent that there are rehabilitation camps set up, hundreds of other boys can die the way that boy did. Especially now that the younger generation has grown comfortable to this new culture. Let’s hope rigid Chinese society learns to adapt to this modern movement.

    1. Author

      Hi Bianca,

      Thanks for your input, its really out of control here and more is getting filtered over time, and tools to get around the great firewall are getting blocked more and more too.

      Yes, the children and their parents have had very different environments growing up, and many parents feel the internet can shape their child a lot….(which I do believe is true)

      Lucky for me, I choose a place in south china, almost as far from beijing central government, where people are less influenced by governmentm and more open to making money and capitalism.

      But I have heard of these camps, though news in china covers them up and never mentions it
      , or calls them training centers maybe?

      It is definitely alienating the younger , tech generation, lets see what the future holds

      1. Shouldn’t companies like yours be exempted from the firewall? The internet has become the new hub of information, everything’s just a click away!

        Interesting, the the part you mentioned choosing a place in south China. I knew someone, a German who said exactly that: that the farther someone is from the center (Manila) the better life is. He’s living in Palawan and he owns a mini-hotel there.

        By the way what province in China are you living in? Last year I met a stranger, an American who lives in Shenzen, working as an Admissions Officer. He was here for a vacation. Interesting cos this is the second time i met someone from the US who happens to work in China

        1. Author

          Why would they let my company around their great firewall? They block it because they dont want people inside their country to read this information, if I employ chinese workers who are exposed to this unlawful information, that is not what they want to happen….

          And yea, life is hard in china, seens almost every other place in the world I have been is easier to do business….just here on china things are so separate from other lands…..and the government seems to want it this way.

          I am from? In usa? Im from connecticut where I grew up and then school in new jersey, worked in new york city…..then cali for a summer after quitting my nyc job, and then to china.

          In china I am china I am in the south city called shenzhen …

  2. You’re very adventurous Mike! I’m learning a lot just by reading your blog. Hopping from one city to another, living in diff places, choosing to do business even in a fixed environment. Here in the Philippines as you know it’s very different, very democratic way of running things. (maybe that’s also why big Chinese communities are here?) Social media is embraced. I hope your trip here will be fruitful!

    1. Author

      hey Bianca,

      thanks for reading and keeping up the comments. didn’t notice i forgot to reply – read this, smiled, and had the reply in my head…

      but yea, Social media is great in Philippines, but still the factories and market volume is China….thinking I have to balance the 2

      stay tuned, appreciate your support.

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