From last few months we were hearing about some censorship issues of mobile applications in China mainly about WhatsApp. China has disrupted WhatsApp in a censorship drive ahead of the coming government’s Communist Party meeting. Currently, WhatsApp is only accessible via VPNs at times and some of those VPNs are also even blocked. Few other social media platforms are also currently blocked and has developed their alternatives. Here are the Reasons Why China’s Digital Media Landscape is Dominated by Local Players.
Interestingly, China has developed its own platforms which the Chinese Government monitor itself. This is indeed a great approach as in “The next big resource in the world is not Oil rather it is Data”. Hence China is in efforts to monitor and control its citizens personal data in its own servers. This move is criticized by the West but it does really make sense to me.
Here are the Reasons Why China’s Digital Media Landscape is Dominated by Local Players
Let’s have a look at some of the social media platforms currently China has replaced and using them in the country.
Instead of WhatsApp: WeChat
Chinese are using WeChat as an alternative of WhatsApp for messaging and calling purpose. WeChat is created by a Chinese company “Tencent”.
Instead of Twitter: Weibo
Twitter has also been blocked in China since 2009 when their one of the political party blamed Twitter to help candidates in protests. So it developed the need to built China’s own platform to replace Twitter and ultimately Weibo was created.
Weibo is somehow different from Twitter as Chinese tend to post more about their family and personal lives rather than only to argue about politics.
Instead of Google: Baidu
Baidu provides a lot of the same services online as the search engine “Google”, which is also banned in China. But it also has Reddit-style forums called “Baidu Tieba” and a Wikipedia-style online “Encyclopedia.”
Instead of Facebook messenger: QQ
QQ is a messenger platform owned by Tencent, the same company that owns WeChat App – in the same way that Whatsapp is also owned by Facebook.
Instead of YouTube: Youku
Youku is China’s main site where anyone can upload their own videos and all are monitored by the “Chinese government”. It also streams Netflix or Amazon-style original TV shows.