As censorship in China increases, VPNs are becoming more important

as censorship in china increases vpns are becoming more important

LI JIAQI, a popular Chinese influencer, had a talent for selling lipstick and other cosmetics. But his last performance was an unintentional advertisement for virtual private networks (VPNs), which help Chinese netizens get around strict online censorship rules. On June 3rd Mr Li live-streamed video of himself with an ice-cream cake that looked like a tank. This seemed to anger the authorities, who may have viewed it as a reference to the Tiananmen Square massacre, when soldiers and tanks fired on peaceful protesters in Beijing, killing hundreds, if not thousands,…

Hong Kong: ‘We don’t know where the red line is’

hong kong we dont know where the red line is

This Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from UK to Chinese rule. China promised to protect democratic freedoms for 50 years, but new laws introduced in 2020 have effectively silenced all criticism in the territory. BBC Panorama has spent the last year with young journalists and protesters as they live through the most turbulent period in Hong Kong’s recent history, facing arrests and prison sentences. Viewers in the UK can watch BBC Panorama, Hong Kong: Life Under the Crackdown Tuesday 28 June at 8.30pm on…

China’s Non-Leadership in the Taliban’s Afghanistan

chinas non leadership in the talibans afghanistan

Advertisement The majority of opinions on China’s strategy in Afghanistan are marked by thinking in binary patterns. In fact, almost a year after the Taliban’s takeover, the country is by all measurable standards sliding deeper into humanitarian and economic crises. But when it comes to the Chinese calculus, the situation presents a mixed picture and so seems to defy the traditional zero-sum outcome. While China does not act as a global leader and prefers what could be described as a selective engagement, it might well achieve its objectives in Afghanistan…

Alarm in Beijing after announcement zero-Covid policy may last five years

Authorities in Beijing have sparked confusion and alarm after announcing the strict zero-Covid policy could be in place for the next five years, including mass mandatory testing and travel restrictions. The notice, published on Monday afternoon, was attributed to Cai Qi, the Beijing secretary of the Chinese Communist party. The original text said: “In the next five years, Beijing will unremittingly grasp the normalisation of epidemic prevention and control.” The notice was first posted by Beijing Daily and republished by other state media outlets. It spread widely across social media,…

‘Things aren’t going back’: Australia braces for step-up in China’s Pacific push

The Australian government is bracing for China to step up its push to expand influence in the Pacific, with a senior figure privately conceding Canberra has a lot of work to do to regain lost trust and strengthen regional unity. Despite initial relief at a decision by Pacific island countries to defer a sweeping 10-country security and economic pact proposed by China, the Australian government now believes this may be only a temporary reprieve. “Things aren’t going back to the way they were,” said a senior Australian government figure who…

How TikTok is turning a generation of video addicts into a data goldmine

Question: what do men and Excel have in common? Answer: they’re always automatically turning things into dates when they’re not. To younger people – that is, anyone under the age of 20 – Microsoft’s spreadsheet program, a tool as essential to accountants as saws are to carpenters, is the contemporary equivalent of mom jeans, handwritten thank-you notes and cravats: stuff that oldies care about. How come, then, that the hashtag #excel has had 3.4bn views on a certain social media platform and that one Excel expert on that platform has…

Shanghai reports no new Covid cases for first time since March

China has reported no new Covid-19 infections in Shanghai for the first time since March, as the country’s latest outbreak subsides after months of lockdowns and other restrictions. China is the last major economy committed to a zero-Covid strategy, stamping out all infections with a combination of targeted lockdowns, mass testing and long quarantine periods. The economic hub of Shanghai was forced into a months-long lockdown during a Covid surge this spring driven by the fast-spreading Omicron variant. Beijing also shuttered schools and offices for weeks over a separate outbreak.…

Xi Jinping to visit Hong Kong on 25th anniversary of British handover

The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, will visit Hong Kong for the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover to mainland China, the state news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday. The trip will be Xi’s first known visit outside mainland China since January 2020 after the Covid-19 outbreak. He will also attend the inaugural ceremony of the sixth-term government of Hong Kong, Xinhua said. John Lee will become the city’s new leader on 1 July, replacing Carrie Lam, who oversaw some of the territory’s most tumultuous times with anti-government protests and Covid.…

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