March 30, 2012

China+? Google's Services Slowly Breaking Through The Great Wall

Citizens of the world's most populous country have something to celebrate. Whether intentionally or by accident, parts of YouTube are now unblocked in China. Users can browse the site and search for any term, and see search results, even on politically-sensitive topics.

The party stops when a user tries to actually play the videos. Most videos won't work, but users can still read the comments and the description.

This change comes after series of promising reports from China over the last few months. First, the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao openly denounced the communist leader Bo Xilai's efforts to revive the communist culture. Thereafter, some search results on the Chinese search engine Baidu have gone uncensored. Namely, users are now able to search for terms like "Tienanmen" and "June 4" and get image and link results.

Even Google+ can now be accessed from China.

Until now, Chinese citizens were able to access these sites using special software and other workarounds. Residents of Hong Kong, a Chinese territory, also had unrestricted access to all that the web has to offer. But this move brings more of the open web to all of China's 1.3 billion people. Let's hope they keep down this road!