Friday, September 27, 2013

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China to lift ban on Facebook and Twitter in Shanghai FTZ

China will reportedly open up its first free trade zone, Shanghai, to allow access to websites such as Facebook, Twitter and others that are banned elsewhere in the country, in a unique exception to strict Internet limits.

Anonymous government sources told the South China Morning Post that the authority in charge of the free-trade zone in Shanghai would also welcome bids from foreign telecommunications companies for licenses to provide Internet services within the new zone.

"In order to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free-trade zone, we must think about how we can make them feel like at home," said one government source. "If they can't get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China."

The newspaper said the expanded website access will apply exclusively to the free-trade zone in Shanghai, which will span 28.78 square kilometers in the city's Pudong New Area, including the Waigaoqiao duty-free zone, the Yangshan deepwater port, and the international airport area.

Facebook and Twitter have been banned on the Chinese mainland since 2009.

For more of the South China Morning News story:

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