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Foreign Companies Say That China’s Internet Restrictions Are Affecting Their Business

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

It seems that foreign companies operating within China have had enough of the internet restrictions put in place by the Chinese authorities. As per a recent survey conducted by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, a large majority of foreign companies having a presence within China are now finding it increasingly difficult to conduct their business as usual due to the technological restrictions put in place by the Chinese government. The survey targeted 106 companies from European Union having offices in People’s Republic of China in an attempt to find out how the latest technological restrictions are affecting their businesses.

The Chinese authorities have unveiled a slew of technical and internet based restrictions in the last few months. As it is, China is one of the most censored countries in the world thanks to its sophisticated firewall which is also known as the Great Firewall of China. But towards the end of 2014, the Chinese authorities even started blocking sites that are considered crucial to conducting business in this digital age. For instance, the government blocked Gmail as well as access to many cloud services. In the beginning of 2015, the authorities even started blocking Virtual Private Networks in the country by releasing a new Censorship System Upgrade (more information is available here – https://vpncoupons.com/china-vpn-services-affected-by-latest-censorship-system-upgrade/). The blocking of VPNs seemed to be final straw for foreign businesses since a lot of organizations were relying on them to access websites that otherwise weren’t available in the country.

As per the results published by European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, 86 percent of the survey participants admitted that their business has been negatively impacted by the latest restrictions put in place by the Chinese government. Last year the same figure stood at 71 percent which indicates that it is now even more difficult for foreign companies to conduct business in China.

The companies were also specifically asked about the impact of the restrictions unveiled towards the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. 80 percent of the companies reported that they are now finding it more difficult to conduct their business in a normal way due to the internet restrictions that were unveiled recently. And in what should be a wake up call for the Chinese authorities, 13 percent of the respondents said that they had deferred investments or setting up new centers in China due to technological restrictions put in place recently.

Jörg Wuttke, President of European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said that the survey results clearly show that excessive restrictions on technology and internet can slow down business growth and investments. He also said that such restrictions were preventing foreigners from relocating to the country. Adding that it was in China’s interest to permit businesses to operate online without any restrictions, Mr. Wuttke also claimed that the restrictions put in place by the Chinese authorities are not only affecting the operations of foreign businesses, they are also preventing local Chinese companies from growing and achieving their full potential.

July 16, 2015

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