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China to unblock access to social media sites

It would seem that the Chinese government is finally ready to open up access to social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter after years of restricting and blocking access to sites across the country. There is a catch however, as there are only plans to make them publicly accessible in the newly created Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

According to anonymous sources in the Chinese government for The South China Morning Post, certain senior leaders in Beijing have decided to relent on their stance concerning social media outlets. Plans are now in motion to allow foreign telecoms services to run in competition with the three state run Chinese companies in order to supply internet services within the boundaries of the new trade zone.

The social media websites have been inoperable within China for many years at the behest of the Chinese government. Since 2009 it has been nigh-on impossible to get your Facebook fix within the communist country.

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Why the sudden change of mind, though? Well, the Shanghai Free Trade Zone will welcome foreign trade, and with that will come a number of people that will want access to their social media outlets for both personal and business use. If they are to make outsiders feel welcome, then there needs to be access to the basic comforts that those people are used to in their home countries. One of the sources for The South China Morning Post described the situation thusly:

“In order to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free-trade zone, we must think about how we can make them feel like at home. If they can’t get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China.”

KitGuru Says: Hopefully this relaxing of the strict rules will see further development for China, as well as far more foreign interest for more than just trading purposes.

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