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Internet in China

deekay
Grafter
Posts: 209
Registered: 05-08-2007

Internet in China

Our granddaughter is going to China for 12 months. It's an official scheme and she will work at a university there, helping students to learn English.
I have heard that the Chinese authorities are very strict regarding internet use, so I wonder if anyone can please give me definitive answers to two questions.
1) Will we be able to freely exchange e-mails with her and she with us?
2) Will we be able to have video/audio chats with her using Skype?
I'm asking regarding regulations, not technically.
Many thanks for any information.
Keith
16 REPLIES
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
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Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Internet in China

I bleev the answer is no to 1 & 2
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Internet in China


Sorry if this is rather obvious: but have you tried
http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas/travel-advice-by-country/asia-oceania/china
and
http://ukinchina.fco.gov.uk/en/
and writing to them for advice - ?
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,244
Thanks: 933
Fixes: 54
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Internet in China

One of our local ramblers is Chinese and she regularly exchanges emails with her parents in China.
However there may be restrictions imposed by the university if she is using their servers.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Internet in China

Thinking back to the time of the Olympics I think the Chinese monitored internet traffic and banned anything they didn't like.  I would suggest using it sensibly and there should not be any problem.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Internet in China

Quote
1) Will we be able to freely exchange e-mails with her and she with us?

Yes, You will have no problems with email to and from China. I would however suggest you set up a Gmail or Hotmail account to use for email.
Quote
2) Will we be able to have video/audio chats with her using Skype?

Yes, You can use Skype in China generally. There seems to be a few areas where access is somewhat patchy.
For communicating PC to PC Google Talk also works well in China.The programme of choice for the Chinese is Live Messenger.
Currently the Chinese government are blocking Twitter for reasons best known to them selves,
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Internet in China

It could be worth installing an OpenVPN client on the computer she is taking in case this is needed, then sign up for a UK VPN account if needed to get around the problems that may happen. Frankly this seems unlikely to be needed to be honest. There will be lots of people in China that can help her set up VPN if she needs to as many of them do it ... Wink
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deekay
Grafter
Posts: 209
Registered: 05-08-2007

Re: Internet in China

Thank you all for your replies.
She will be living on the university campus and using the university's internet system, so having a good internet connection shouldn't be any problem. As far as the tecnical side of setting up over there is concerned, I expect that the university IT people will help if needed.
Both she and I have 'hotmail' accounts, which we will use, but I will tell her about Live Messenger as an alternative to Skype. and see what she thinks. I use both.
I hadn't thought of contacting the Foreign Office. Thanks for the suggestion.
I know nothing about OpenVPN so would have to read up about it.
If the authorities want, E-mails can be 'vetted' before they are allowed to be sent. It is the spontaneous transmission of VoIP about which I was more concerned and wondered if it was allowed - especially by foreigners.
Thanks again for all your help.
Keith
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Internet in China

I use Skype, Live Messenger and Google Talk every day talking to "foreigners" and locals in China.
I believe the widespread use of hotmail and gmail accounts by the Chinese is because they cannot be snooped the same way as corporate email.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Internet in China

Quote from: deekay
I have heard that the Chinese authorities are very strict regarding internet use ...

Your grand-daughter is also a foreign guest of the university, I am sure she will be well looked after, the chinese people are some of the most welcoming people you could ever meet (there are exceptions to every rule) and she should not be afraid to ask for help from her peers.
SW.
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Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Internet in China

I've heard that too - but sadly I have never visited China.
But I  have welcomed Chinese delegations to international conferences here .
As I mentioned - I'm sure the British embassy will be only too pleased to assist and help with Chinese/ British releationms. I'm told they much prefer to be involved earlier rather than late - and to help with creating harmony.
hope granddaughter has a wonderful time.

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,244
Thanks: 933
Fixes: 54
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Internet in China

One thing we always did when spending long period in a foreign country was to let the British Embassy know - this was specially the case in the former Communist Block and I wouldn't think China will be much different.
One thing your grand-daughter will find is the extreme friendliness of the average Chinese and the children will all want to practice their English.
Although expensive one thing which might be worth considering is a mobile phone as the coverage is generally very good. 15 years ago I even downloaded emails and files to my laptop using my mobile on a train travelling south from Beijing to Handan (this was before iPhones and Blackberries) linking in to my home office in the UK through a secure link.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Internet in China

Hi
My sister lives in china, and we have absolutely no problems in communicating, we use E-Mail, and SKYPE, for video chats.  If the uni doesnt block stuff, I really wouldnt worry.  Only issue is the China internet, is a bit poo. I have been over there, and it can on occasion be dog slow......
Hope she has a good time, but warn here about the taxis, they are NUTTERS!!!!  No driving laws at all.  My sister took her driving test (god only knows why.....), all she had to do was pass an exam Roll eyes Roll eyes.  She was stopped at a red light once, and caused chaos, by following the law Cheesy Cheesy
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Internet in China

Quote from: godsell4
It could be worth installing an OpenVPN client on the computer she is taking in case this is needed, then sign up for a UK VPN account if needed to get around the problems that may happen. Frankly this seems unlikely to be needed to be honest. There will be lots of people in China that can help her set up VPN if she needs to as many of them do it ... Wink

Are VPN connections not monitored? I would have thought that using VPN to get around some of the censorship that China have imposed then setting up VPN servers outside China could be profitable.
Community Veteran
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Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Internet in China

VPN is secure and many Chinese people have VPN accounts.
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