What do Dropbox, Southwest Airlines, Box.com, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail and the New York Times have in common?
Their websites are all blocked in Mainland China. This means no Google mail and no access to cloud based files for many of the standard sources we in the West use today. However, WeTransfer seems to work fine for file transfer. Microsoft Outlook also works, most of the time.
No google.com, but yahoo.com is available. Southwest Airlines? Who knew they were a problem? In Hong Kong and Taiwan none of these websites are blocked.
Often before a Western website will fully load there is a delay as the Great China Firewall decides if the content is forbidden. If there has been an article that is negative to China you can also expect ‘The Economist’, the ‘Wall Street Journal’ and ‘Financial Times’ websites to be blocked. Usually this is only for a few days.
I have just returned from two weeks in Taipei, Shanghai, Wuhan, Chengdu and Hong Kong on business for three of the US franchises that our company represents around the world.
The good news is that high speed bandwidth Internet is available in major cities in Mainland China. And there is typically no charge for Internet at the major hotel chains. That is not the case in the USA where several large hotel chains still charge high prices for Internet access. And in the USA the bandwidth at such hotels can be ‘iffy’.
The Great China Firewall is alive and prospering. But manageable.