There's finally a place in China where people can access previously banned social media sites. The provincial government of Hainan has drawn the plan in order to boost tourism in the area.
China is set to lift the ban on the southern tropical island of Hainan. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced his plan to turn "China's Hawaii," a spot famous for its palm-lined beaches, into a free-trade port by 2020.
Access To Social Media Sites
Reports say that authorities plan to lift the ban on social media platforms such as Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook in the island's two biggest cities, Sanya and Haikou. These social media sites are banned elsewhere in the country.
State media also published a statement online where it reported that China expects to hire 50,000 English-speaking foreign workers, many from Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines, and buy 2,000 minutes of advertising time on major international networks including CNN, BBC, and CNBC.
The provincial government published a copy of its proposal online where it announced its effort to make the island more conducive and welcoming to foreign tourists which include undertaking steps for more convenient use of foreign cards and instituting visa-free travel.
The ban lift would be granted in spots where tourists would mostly gather. It is still unclear if the proposal has the support of the national government.
The ban on social media networks and foreign websites is done through a sophisticated network of censors called the "Great Firewall" which restricts access to social media sites such as Snapchat, Instagram, and other foreign media websites.
The internet censorship in China is overseen by the Ministry of Information Industry. It is based on the government's goal to combat the spread of information that is meant to harm the honor or the interests of the nation, disturb social order, disrupt social stability, or jeopardize the integrity of the nation's unit.
The document read that the plan to build the tourism zone will be based in Mallorca, Spain, Bangkok, and other cities development. Within the zones, people will be allowed to use selected social media sites just like in other countries.
Comments On Social Media
The proposed move to allow tourists to access social media sites widely became a topic of criticism in the country.
Chinese internet users labeled the proposal as discriminatory. However, many negative comments from Weibo users were deleted from the site.
Additionally, The three-year plan posted by the provincial government of Hainan was also removed from the government's website.