Darren Waters

BBC unblocked in China

  • Darren Waters
  • 25 Mar 08, 09:23 GMT

We're getting reports that the BBC News website is now accessible to people in China.

BBC news website imageBBC staff have said they can access the website, and I've seen sporadic reports on Twitter, saying the same thing. In fact, I've seen one five-day old report on Twitter from a user saying he can access the BBC site inside China.

Until now people in China have only been able to access BBC News, as well as other restricted sites, by using a proxy server.

So the big question then is: Is this by design or by accident?

Commonsense would dictate that this is a deliberate unblocking of the domain, especially given the site appears to have been accessible for some time.

But why? Given the recent unrest in Tibet one would expect a tightening of control, not a loosening.

Is this the much anticipated opening up of China? It's far too early to say.


  • 1.
  • At 10:45 AM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • M wrote:

According to various sources, the Great Firewall of China is to be disabled during the Olympics - perhaps their only unblocking certain sites?

It must be good news, no matter what the reason, unless its a technical problem - and the block's back 2moro


  • 3.
  • At 02:30 PM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • Geoff wrote:

I think it's only a matter of time before the flimsy internet blocking in China comes to an end as it's very inconsistent. When I was living there it seemed the only foreign news pages blocked were those with Chinese versions, eg BBC, CNN and Wikipedia. I could easily access lots of foreign media, as can any Chinese citizen. That said, if in fact the BBC is unblocked it will mark a big change and mean I won't have to copy the text from articles to send to my friend in Beijing anymore!

  • 4.
  • At 02:10 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Sheena wrote:

I'm in Beijing and can finally see the BBC News website- I would be surprised if this is accidental. It is still very easy to access other foreign media from here (Sky, CNN, newspapers) so the block was somewhat pointless anyway. Wikipedia still doesn't work, however.

  • 5.
  • At 01:50 AM on 28 Mar 2008,
  • Francis wrote:

There's a campaign at the moment in China that's attacking western media, including the BBC, for perceived inaccurate reports on the situation in Tibet. Cynically, I wonder if the enabling of the BBC site has something to do with this.

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