China’s Great Firewall and its implications on businesses

The Great Firewall is the popular term use to explain how almost a billion Chinese netizens use a strongly controlled internet by the Chinese government. In China, the internet is highly censor. Therefore, it becomes a little difficult for foreign companies to enter the Chinese market. If a company tries to access overseas websites as well as internet services from China then it may be a little hard.

To enter the Chinese market, foreign companies surely require a comprehensive strategy to understand the operational issues that are usually encounter due to the idiosyncratic landscape as far as the internet is concerned. It can seen with an industry that may not directly associated with the Great Firewall also.

Explaining the Great Firewall 

Technological systems and legislation come together with the Great Firewall that is generally use to regulate the usage of the internet within the country. In the late ’90s, regulations have start over the internet as Chinese Law CL97 has been pass in the year 1997. On the occasion, cybercrime has been criminalize. Later on, the Golden Shield Project has been introduce for stopping the access of foreign data in China.

Sophisticated methods are use by China to regulate the internet. IP blocking and DNS tampering are the two ways use to control the internet. In case of IP blocking, traffic is dropped by the router if it is direct towards an IP address that is blacklist. Through DNS tampering, a query is respond by the DNS server with a falsified DNS address. As a result, it may lead to a false domain. So it’s important to check if your website is blocked by the Great Firewall of China.

In recent years, we have seen online restraints and censorship strengthened further. China has blocked an increasing number of popular platforms and websites, such as Google and Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter, Youtube and Instagram, and so. The clampdown has been extend over the private virtual networks (VPNs). It is usually a common method to circumvent the Great Firewall. Protecting the cyber sovereignty of China is one of the priorities of the government.

Impact on the Business

Foreign companies’ core business may not directly affected by the Great Firewall. However, daily operation and productivity may affected on occasion. Lower productivity rate has been cause due to the restriction of data, unstable connection and restricted access. Corporate VPNs are often set or a corporate package of VPN is utilize for offices in China to access the internet. State-approved VPN services are very expensive. Therefore, production cost often increases. Research and development work may affected too.

Several businesses use cloud services such as Google Documents. DropBox and GitHub to deliver resources to different locations in the world. However, these services cannot utilized in China. Therefore, foreign companies should keep it in the mind as well. 

Due to strong censorship and the Great Firewall, the websites of the foreign companies may behave differently from the rest of the world. Therefore, continuous testing of the website is necessary to know whether it is performing adequately. In this way, the speed of the website can kept under check too. A good monitoring service must utilized to keep you in the know for any performance issues in China. And a monitoring and testing service has set up just for this purpose, check them out at

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