BEIJING, CHINA (NOVEMBER 9, 2017) (REUTERS) – Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hu Chunying said on Thursday (November 9) there were plenty of channels for people in China to communicate with “the outside world”. Hua’s comments were a response to a journalist’s question about whether China sees U.S. President Donald Trump’s open use of twitter during his trip in Beijing to be in breach of Chinese law.
The social media platform is one of many western sites including Facebook and YouTube, blocked in China by the country’s “Great Firewall”. This is the name given to the sophisticated system which has been built to deny online users within China access to blocked content.
Donald Trump sent out a late-night tweet in Beijing as he thanked his hosts for a rare tour of the Forbidden City and a private dinner at the sprawling, centuries-old palace complex. Trump even changed his Twitter banner, uploading a photograph of himself and Melania with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, during a Chinese opera performance at the Forbidden City.
Many foreigners log on to virtual private networks (VPNs) to access content hosted outside of China. Another option is to sign up for a data-roaming service before leaving one’s home country.