Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th Nov 2016 18:42 UTC, submitted by KLU9
Internet & Networking

If you've ever been to mainland China, chances are you're familiar with the Great Firewall, the country's all-encompassing internet censorship apparatus. You know the despair of not being able to open Facebook, the pain of going mute on Twitter. But with a good VPN, you can magic many of these inconveniences away - at least temporarily.

For software developers based in China, however, it's not that simple. You're not just censored from certain websites. Basic building blocks that you use for product development are suddenly beyond your reach. With software services and libraries spread across the globe, China's internet sovereignty can be a real pain in the ass.

Something I've never really put much thought into.

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Seems a good article, but...
by darknexus on Wed 9th Nov 2016 21:07 UTC
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If freedom of speech is tightening so much over there (and I believe it was tight enough already) wouldn't these people be risking a lot by saying these things? Do they use pseudonyms? Honest question. I really don't know the answer and would like to.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Seems a good article, but...
by kwan_e on Wed 9th Nov 2016 23:26 UTC in reply to "Seems a good article, but..."
kwan_e Member since:

If freedom of speech is tightening so much over there (and I believe it was tight enough already) wouldn't these people be risking a lot by saying these things?

People have this fantasy idea of how much control the Chinese government actually has over speech. Yes, they have laws, and threats, about speaking out, but most of it is just handled with censorship. Their main method is tighten up monitoring on certain days.

The Chinese government aren't stupid. They know people need to vent. They just don't want the complainers to get organized.

Reply Score: 3

Internal market
by Earl C Pottinger on Wed 9th Nov 2016 21:16 UTC
Earl C Pottinger
Member since:

On the other hand China's internal market is larger than the entire world market was for programmers twenty years ago.

So if over the last couple of decades the Western World developed all it's tools with China, today China's programmer can probably develop tools for at-least their market as it is big enough to support them,

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Gone fishing
by Gone fishing on Thu 10th Nov 2016 08:28 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:

I think the situation in China is somewhat depressing. It is possible to connect to the world, you can use a VPN although it is obviously not trivially easy to keep these working and speeds to the world are quite slow (I set up my own VPN, but soon went to a commercial solution).

The main effect of the censorship and firewall is to keep the population looking within China. As a result Chinese IT appears to me to be backward. The normal solution is to go to a local pirate sight, download badly hacked pirated commercial software and use that. I’m thinking of the malware on Apples playstore due to a pirated compiler as I write. I won’t describe the horror of Chinese adware, as the multicolored fluffy animals make me feel sick.

The lack of engagement - which is intended means that China is behind, you want cheap hardware go to China, software try somewhere else - India?

As for criticism the Chinese government likes social media it can be monitored and for a safety valve, even a possible check and balance

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Sidux
by Sidux on Thu 10th Nov 2016 08:39 UTC
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After working with some Chinese projects "offsite", the main problem with China in relation with software development is keeping your source and ideas safe from the government.
Everything is being scanned by the government, whether you are a small entrepreneur trying out new services or huge corporation that already has contracts and approvals with the government to do business there.
This causes delays in processing times due to extensive security measures to prevent unauthorized access.
Mix this with services that you are not allowed to use in China (even if you are a global brand) and you get a very nice challenge for this.
The only benefit that you have is sheer number of customers using your service. On a larger scale the number of people actively using internet services in one big city in China is much higher than Europe all together.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Sidux
by KLU9 on Thu 10th Nov 2016 16:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by Sidux"
KLU9 Member since:

I believe the new Cybersecurity Law the govt announced this week had obligatory disclosure of source code to the govt in its early drafts, only dropped after an unholy stink raised by everyone in the industry.

However, while the explicit disclosure clause has been dropped, the rest of the language in the law so vague, many feel they still might be forced to do it, and more.

Edited 2016-11-10 16:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2