The Great Firewall becomes the Great Hive – China’s latest top news

Jeremy Goldkorn’s selection of the top stories from China on September 18, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.


The Great Hive of Propaganda

At China Media Project, David Bandurski writes on how recent regulations really do call on everyone to “say the correct thing in the correct way.”

  • Regulations published last week on the management of chat groups and social media postings are just the latest sign that “media controls are now centered not, as they were in the past, solely on the gatekeeping media, but on users — which is to say, citizens — themselves.”
  • Bandurski says that it might be time for a new word to replace the “Great Firewall” to describe China’s “vast system of technical and regulatory controls on the internet… meant to insulate China from the contagion of the outside. It is probably more suitable now to think instead of a Great Hive of firewalls around the individual, a buzzing nest of connections from which users may be insulated at will.”

In other news of censorship and control:

  • The Global Times reports that a man in the eastern city of Nanjing has been detained by the police for selling Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to help Chinese users get around internet controls.
  • The article says that “based on China’s Cyber Security Law which came into effect on June 1” the police detained the man for three days and “confiscated all his illegal income,” a grand total of 1,080 yuan which he made by charging users 10 yuan ($1.50) for a month.
  • The Global Times also says a man from the southeastern city of Dongguan “was sentenced to nine months’ jail with an additional 5,000 yuan fine for providing software including VPNs.