Chinese app allows small glimpse beyond the ‘Great Firewall’

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An app established this week at China allows access to a content on Western social media sites long prohibited domestically for example YouTube, signalling the first item with a significant Chinese tech company which helps internet users skip the Great Firewall.

Tuber was launched on third-party Android shops in China with a subsidiary of Qihoo 360, the biggest Chinese cybersecurity firm. The app, which has since seen countless downloads, isn’t available on the Apple store just yet.

While these proxy apps are not new in China, where a virtual private network (VPN) service is generally required to allow domestic users passing to websites such as Google or Facebook, the arrival of Tuber suggests a slight lowering of the Great Firewall.

While welcomed by net users in China, a few complained about the app’s slowness. Replies to sensitive political issues such as the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and the Hong Kong protests were censored in part, according to checks by journalists at our partner news agency Reuters.

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Users of the app must register with private details such as their identity card numbers and real names, while being warned against flouting state interests and moving against the country’s hard-line Communist system.

Qihoo 360 couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Ryan Woo. Editing by Mark Potter.

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