Why Facebook In China Has Been Banned


Facebook, one of the greatest social media sites globally has about 1.5 billion users. It has been around for the past decade or so because it was founded in 2004 by young man called Mark Zuckerberg. This site has connected millions of people most of whom would have never met was it nor for it. It is rather a strange reality to know that a fifth of the world’s population has no access whatsoever to this site. The Chinese government decided to ban this site, across the whole country in the year 2005, July.

What Really Caused It?

During the Urumqi July riots protests and riots, the Xinjiang independence activists used the Facebook platform to air their grievances. These were not acceptable to the government of that time. Also, after the flop of Google China, many skeptics were of the opinion that the Facebook app would not succeed. To some degree, this was a psychological sabotage. Renren is a similar social network in China, which has the same features as Facebook, and it can be said that this site has taken over the Facebook space.

Why Can’t I Use Facebook In The People’s Republic Of China?

Blocked facebook in China is a government prerogative. There may be said to be two reasons behind this blockage. The first being protectionism. The ruling party in China, CCP could be said to want to encourage development of the country’s own technology industries. This will ensure money and jobs are gotten by the Chinese people themselves, instead of always relying on technology from Silicon Valley. The second reason could be fear and control. Websites running in China land have to bypass government protocol and Facebook, being a multinational company is not subject to this hence it is safe to just block it.

How Can One Access Facebook In China?

It is said that in China, there is a place called Shanghai Free Trade Zone where users can access Facebook for free. This is the one place where one can officially access this site. There have been reports that Facebook is partially blocked in China, but according reliable sources, this site really is blocked everywhere. However, these partial reports state that one can access Facebook via networks called VPN, Virtual Private Networks. Most of these are paid for, but some are said to be free of charge. Thus instead of asking yourself, why can’t I use Facebook in China, try this method first. The VPNs are said to cost around 70 dollars per year on average.

Merits And Demerits

Renren has led to self-employment and revenue flowing in the Chinese government rather than outside. This has led to great development within the country itself. The government, having control of flow of information, can be able to take charge of any suspicious activities, it is a no wonder the people have not encountered terrorist activities like the rest of the world. The ban also serves to protect the Chinese people from cyber bullies and hence these people may be more emotionally stable, compared to their counterparts who are often exposed to such. The Chinese people are limited in their interaction to the rest of the world. This may in turn limit their development strategies as pertains to the rest of the world. Most Chinese people do not even know of the existence of the Facebook site.