China has a new plan to boost tourism on the island of Hainan: lifting its censorship. The government revealed a new plan that not only includes hiring some 50,000 English-speaking foreign workers, but also giving people access to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
The Chinese government carefully controls every aspect of the internet through a system known as the Great Firewall. For the most part, this means blocking western social media sites and services that it doesn’t agree with. Including all Google services, the New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Despite the revelation of the three year plan to increase Chinese tourism, not all of the island will have the censorship lifted. Instead, foreign tourists will only be able to access the blocked content in designated zones in Haikou and Sanya, the island’s two biggest cities.
It’s also unclear just how extensive the access will be. The plan specifies Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, but doesn’t quite cover other social media like Instagram or Snapchat. Nor does it make it clear if instant messaging services like WhatsApp or Telegram will be allowed.
[Source: South China Morning Post]