Using the Internet in China

Using the Internet in China

9th May, 2012

Internet access in China is subject to all kinds of rumour, so when I first arrived I hardly knew what to expect. I’d heard that the information available to the population was monitored but to what extent does this actually apply online?


In this post, I’ll look at using the Internet in China in more detail. If you’re moving there soon, you might also find it useful to read more about becoming an expat in our free eBook The New Expat.

Day to day web surfing

In real terms you’re unlikely to encounter much evidence of censorship in your day-to-day searching – although that does depend on how political your searches are likely to be.

‘The Great Firewall of China’

So is the average westerner affected when using the Internet in China? Unless you’re a key part of a large political dissention group, or you’re researching an obviously contentious subject, it probably won’t.

The area where westerners certainly do notice restrictions is when setting up websites. The Chinese government implemented new regulations a few years ago where those registering on local servers need to discuss their site with government regulators and submit photo ID before being allowed to upload anything to the net. If you’re trading from a foreign country this usually isn’t a problem, since you can host a website on your native server and the pages will be seen in China once they’ve been approved.

A final thought

Using the Internet in China is a complex subject. If you’re a westerner moving there soon, it’s worth repeating that you’ll probably notice very little difference.

For more on making the move abroad, don’t forget to download our free eBook The New Expat which covers medical considerations, family matters, accommodation issues, financial arrangements and much more.

If you have any questions or thoughts on the points covered in this post, please leave a comment below or connect with us @now_health on Twitter

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Alison Massey

Group Marketing Director

Now Health International

Alison Massey is a 15-year digital marketing veteran, who has spent the last seven years using social media to help expats and soon to be expats find out what to expect from a life overseas. An expat living in Hong Kong herself, Alison is the Group Marketing Director of Now Health, the award-winning international health insurance provider.

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