It was last week that China’s once-every-decade meeting of the 18th Communist Party Congress commenced. This is the meeting in which the Chinese government decides on changes in leadership within the tightly-controlled party, and much like anything else in the nation, the government puts notorious restrictions into how much people can know about it.
The government went so far even to completely block access to Google in the nation, a move that was quick to anger the search engine company. This is one of many moves that China has pulled on Google, with one of the most recent examples being another block to the New York Times during a scandal that involved the family of Wen Jiaobao, the Chinese Premier. When the family raked in billions of dollars in wealth, the government was quick to cover up the story.
It’s easy to see how Google, and any other international internet company would easily be angered from having their traffic suddenly cut by a government. With China, this frustration can be even more extrapolated due to China being one of the main drivers of traffic.
In fact, according to Daily Finance, China remains the world’s largest market for the internet. With all of the restrictions that the government tends to put on all of these potential users, the level of loss is something that can not be afforded by any company, especially Google.
Unlike the United States, where Google is the overwhelming leader in search engine utilization, China’s main engine is the seldom-known or seen Baidu. Google actually only has around a five percent share of the market, according to a statistic source that was acquired by PC World.
Ever since the big-time blocking that happened last week, China has opened up the services again for the population on Saturday, but many reports are saying that the level of service is not to where it usually is. Many have been saying that loading has been slow.
Though the blockage was the first time since 2010, a two year period might indicate a period of easing frustrations with the government, but any blocking at all will only continue to cause a rise in animosity. With the patterns that China tends to engage in, plus their over-protective Communist policies at work, there are plenty of reasons to believe that another block will happen again in the future.
Blocks tend to happen whenever something that could be compromising toward the “image” of the government gets uncovered. It is surprising that the Communist Party did not completely block Google during the Jiaobao scandal, since plenty of other online sources were covering the story as well, but just one serves as a commentary into just how closed off the Chinese people might actually be.