My experience with the internet in China

History and customs of Asia, mondern or ancient, and their relevance to anime and manga.

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My experience with the internet in China

Postby ca_jas » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:18 am

Living in China for a year and dealing with internet issues here has really changed the way I see the internet. I'm not really knowledgeable about the details of what is involved with browsing the web so if you can clarify some things, let me know.

Before I came to China I did some travel research and at that time it seemed China was not blocking google. But I think the very week that I traveled here, China began blocking all things related to google, the very things I had needed in order to navigate me way in the city! What luck... Basic things like email, maps, and google's search engine I had no access to. But I also noticed nearly all the sites I like to visit (art sites, gaming sites, movie sites, etc.) were also being blocked. Just about every website nowadays has advertisement links to facebook, twitter, youtube and so on. All these tiny "like us on facebook" parts were causing the whole website to be blocked. And most websites have some sort of "google analytics" tracking their page; another trigger that gets the website blocked. Someone suggested installing the browser extension Ghostery to block all advertisements, analytics and trackers. After doing that many of those previous website began to load regularly. But I still needed to access gmail and google's search engine. Bing and yahoo are NOT fun.

My life was hell for a month because I had no way to communicate with anyone, even my employers in China. My phone didn't work because, well, Android -> Google. So I just stayed in my apartment until someone rang the bell to direct me to do something. Other foreigners eventually helped me get setup with a vpn to bypass China's restrictions and my troubles went away immediately. :D

But I still keep using Ghostery because I was really grossed out by how many trackers were on many websites. Some pages like this forum have zero trackers (thanks, Tim!), other pages maybe have a few trackers, but many website would have hundreds! All of these different data analytic sites, monitoring your browsing habits. I've begun to allow advertisements from websites I want to support but I still block trackers.

For a long time I had zero issues with the web but recently I have had SSL certificate errors a lot. Particularly with paypal, who recently made some changes after their separation from ebay. I use a vpn but more and more websites are blacklisting IP's that use them. I actually couldn't post on THIS forum because one of the servers was recently blacklisted so I had to change to another. So now America is the one blocking me!!

All of this was stuff I had no experience with previously. Never really knew about vpns, trackers, analytics, or ssl certificates. By now I can navigate China's search engines without a vpn just fine. China has many copycat browsers to use that allow me to browser most sites without being blocked for every little tracker. But I'm thinking the future of the internet is going to get even crazier.
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ca_jas
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Re: My experience with the internet in China

Postby Kokon Tozai » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:32 pm

jas.....
great post I was actually wondering about much of this. You are obviously fascinated with China while it is obviously so enslaving. The picture of you just waiting until someone knocks on your door is profound. You have accomplished much despite such an intimidating beginning. Please come back soon to the good 'ol USA where all we have to care about is the NSA, Google, FBI, CIA, KBI, LBJ & LSD, and in Kansas, well, Brownback Mountain.
To watch Anime is life. All else is merely waiting.
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Re: My experience with the internet in China

Postby ca_jas » Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:04 am

Yeah the beginning was terrifying but most of the obstacles have been overcome and life is pretty good here. I keep in touch with all the news in America (most Chinese people keep up to date as well). Politics seems just as crazy as ever. :shock:

I'll be back in town for the first 3 weeks in August. I hope we can all have an impromptu meetup (for Minsky's at least!! :D).
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Re: My experience with the internet in China

Postby Tsunami3k » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:18 am

"Jas in the 'States" is definitely an event-worthy occasion!
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