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  • Statements | 23 October, 2019 (09:47)

    FCCC Statement on Chinese Blocking of Foreign News Websites

    China’s internet censorship tools block access to publicly-available websites belonging to nearly a quarter of the foreign news organizations accredited to report in China.

    An analysis conducted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China and GreatFire.org shows that the Great Firewall bars internet users in China from viewing the publicly-available websites of 23% of 215 international news organizations with journalists based in China. Among news organizations that publish primarily in English, the most widely-spoken foreign language in China, 31% are blocked.

    Chinese authorities frequently describe a commitment to openness and cooperation in cyberspace, including at the sixth World Internet Conference, which closes today. But China’s internet controls have been used to block a growing list of global news sources. Those digital blocks run counter to the ethos of internet openness, and prevent Chinese access to valuable sources of independent reporting on international matters, as well as China’s own domestic affairs.

    Many of the most important sources of global and national news are not accessible in China, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, Bloomberg, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Der Spiegel, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, The Hindu, Le Monde, NBC, The New York Times, Nikkei, NRK, El Pais, Radio Television Suisse, Reuters, The Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Straits Times, The Times of India, de Volkskrant, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Yomiuri Shimbun.To conduct this analysis, the FCCC provided GreatFire a list of websites operated by news organizations that are accredited by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and included in “Foreign Press in China,” an annual MoFA publication. According to MoFA, 536 foreign journalists have accreditation to report in China, including 431 in Beijing. The GreatFire Analyzer is an online tool that monitors blocked websites. (Not all of the accredited news organizations included in MoFA’s publication have publicly-available news websites, and MoFA’s own accounting appears to include duplications in its listing of media organizations, which the FCCC has removed.)