China’s quiet experiment to let millions roam the real Internet


The browser, carried on app stores run by Huawei Technologies Co among others, suggests Beijing is testing ways to let its 904 million Internet users into once-prohibited zones. — AFP

In a quiet experiment of just two weeks, China provided millions of people access to long-forbidden foreign websites like YouTube and Instagram. The trial appears to signal the Communist government is moving toward giving the country’s citizens greater access to the global Internet – while still attempting to control who sees what.

The Tuber browser-app, backed by government-linked 360 Security Technology Inc, appeared without fanfare late September and offered for the first time in years a way to view long-banned websites from Facebook Inc to Google and the New York Times, albeit sanitised versions. Chinese users rejoiced in a newfound ability to directly peruse long-blocked content from a mobile browser without an illegal virtual private network or VPN.

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