In This Tiny Part Of China, Citizens Have Free Range Over the Internet

Chinese authorities may be able to only selectively censor their citizens' internet use from now on. On Tuesday, word spread that China might lift its ban on Facebook, the New York Times' website, and Twitter in a 28.7-sq. kilometer "free-trade zone" in Shanghai.

Technology has become a vital element of 21st century life, so it is no surprise that China has finally decided to "update" its status on banned websites to further prosper in the financial arena.

The South China Morning Post reported the news of the lifted ban, according to government sources. The decision, which permits internet uses to access social media websites, is the Chinese government's attempt to gain interest and attention from foreign investors since the Shanghai free-trade zone was initially created to "see how economic and financial reforms might work in the rest of the country."

In order to provide the internet service in a country that is notorious for monitoring websites, the government will consider bids from foreign telecommunications companies to provide connection to the zone. This will not only give China the international attention it craves, but will also boost the economy by appealing to these investors.

Should everyone begin to accept China's Facebook friend request? Not quite. Although the ban on social media in this area is now lifted, there is not complete liberalization in the Chinese government's views of social media. It will still use surveillance and practice censorship over the websites used outside of the free trade zone. A closer look at the incentives behind this recent policy change reveals that they are not as black-and-white as they may seem. It will take more than unblocking Facebook in a free-trade zone to believe that this act is for the public good and not for the Chinese government's economic advantage.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Rosybell Maria

Bonjour. Hola. Hello. I am a Junior at Seton Hall University studying at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations. I am a lover of diverse cultures, languages, and a connoisseur of all things good.

MORE FROM

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.