Questions for Chinese bloggers

I have some questions for Chinese and China-based bloggers out there. (Please forgive my rusty Chinese… I'm much better at reading than writing, I'm afraid.)

The extent of China's web filtering is often dismissed in the West as not such a big deal because people can use proxies to get around the blockages. People seem to have different opinions about how widespread the knowledge of proxies actually is in China. If you're in China right now or have been spending a lot of time there recently I'd like to know what you think about the following questions:
在国外经常有人说,因为有代理,中国有很多网站上不了没有太大关:真想看这些网站的人总有办法。不同的人对这个问题有不同的看法, 所以我想问中国的 blogger 几个问题:

  • Of the people in China who use the internet regularly, what percentage do you think know how to use proxies? Of the people you know, what percentage know how to use proxies? 在中国经常上网的人当中,你估计百分之多少知道怎么用代理?亲自身边的人当中,你估计百分之多少会用代理?
  • Out of that group of people, what percentage do you think frequently use proxies to access blocked sites? 会用代理的人当中, 你估计有百分之多少经常用代理上被封的网站?
  • In other words, among the proxy-savvy Chinese internet users, to what extent does it matter if things are blocked or not? How much does filtering impact these people's information experience on the internet?  换句话问:在会用代理的中国网民当中,一些网站被封不封有多大的关系?中国政 府封一堆网站对中国 网民的“网上经验” 有多大的影响?
  • More generally, amongst all internet users in China at large, how do you think internet blocking and filtering impacts what Chinese internet users do and do not know about their own country and about the world at large?  总的来说,在中国国内访问不了很多网站的情况之下,你觉得这个情况怎么影响 到中国网民对自己的国家和国外的理解?

It would be great to know your views. If you want to answer this on your own blog, please post the link in the comments section here if the trackback doesn't show up automatically. I would especially love to know what the Chinese bloggers think about this question. 麻烦blogger们在自己的 blog 上,或者在下面的“comments” 里面发表自己的意见!


  • 1、一般在校学生都会,因为要访问教育网外资源总是要使用代理。


  • I agree with the above comment, but would like to add a few thoughts:

    (1) Only college kids/internet savy users would care about these issues. The common people at the internet bars hardly need to venture outside the local subnet to play games and listen to music.

    (2) If you want to access a blocked site from the educational network (any university campus) you need to go through TWO firewalls. The educational network typically blocks all overseas connections, so you need a proxy somewhere in mainland china. Then if the national Great Firewall is blocking something you want to see, you need another proxy in america or someplace. This is way too much trouble… even most of the really savy internet users might not be able to make this work.
    At Peking University you can pay 100 RMB a month for an account that lets you through the educational network firewall. If you purchase this account you only need to use one proxy in a different country to view blocked sites. However, most students at PKU can’t afford this.

    (3) If its not on the BBSes its not worth knowing. Chinese students use BBSes for everything. The only time I heard people upset about government filtering is when the government blocked the PKU and Tsinghua BBSes and shutdown the BBS. Students quickly set up proxies and other BBSes because these forums are so important to them.

  • 1.The first question I would prefer a percentage of 5%. Most of my classmates
    and friends just don’t need to resort to proxy. They just view the major websites
    in China, which would comply with government and have no risk of shut down.
    2. It is difficult to view blocked site as for the low speed and inconvinience.So
    rarely would we use those proxy unless the information is important.
    3. Blocked sites are usually consisting of those types: blogs, TaiWan media, oversea
    community criticizing Chinese policy. Chinese internet users tend to focus on some
    entertainment like online game and chat,rather than some serious subject. So generally
    those blocked sites had a limited impact. But for someone who are seeking those information
    it is very annoying.
    4. The last question is hard to answer. I would like to keep my opinions.:)

  • Would the question what percentage people _think_ would use proxies be that relevent?

  • 我做过网站,根据我的统计,如果IP地址被封的话,会失去99%的国内访客流量,如果域名被封的话(包过滤),将失去100%的国内流量。我自己也估计,一般会用代理的用户只有1%左右。会用加密代理(https proxy)的更少。如果网站的域名被加入包过滤的黑名单,那么即使通过普通代理服务器也无法访问,只能通过加密的代理服务器才能访问。cisco将GFW以天价的价格卖给中国,想必除了获得巨额利润外,还可以通过防火墙的后门获得等多的好处。

  • 芮蓓咔的几个问题

    Rebecca有些问题想问问大陆的Blogger们,是关于大陆的GFW的影响方面(以下引自该则网志): * Of the people in China who use the internet regularly, what percentage do you think know how to use proxies? Of the people you kno…

  • Serveral years away from University, ZheJiang Uni.
    After quick review on above question and comments, suddenly got the feeling that these question are quite good,which are quite intensively with Students in Universities.

    Never ever neglect the students group,they are always new generation and hope!!!

    Towards the pecentage issue ,it’s prefered being answer ed by Students group. Like hzJoey(1st floor),in his blog mentioned ,Chinese goverment has beening taken actions to control ,even with realistic ID with Login ID. It’s absurd.

    Last question, in my limited observation, it’s not so critical whatever for students or post graduates. Only the language issue and recognition issue might be concerned.

  • Ken

    * 国家信产局领导说国内上网人数已达1亿,如此我估计会用代理的人数比例应在0.0001%;尚未发现自己身边有谁会用。

    * 根据自己泡过一些技术论坛所见经验,会用代理的人当中至少有超过70%会经常浏览被封的网站。

    * 被封的网站反而会引起人们更大的好奇心,所以才会有许多人潜心研究代理技术;但是政_府采取的渔民Policy也确实造成了大量的信息不对称。

    * 还是上面所说的,信息上严重的不对称造就了一大堆的渔民;经济指标连年上扬,而文明程度却日渐式微。。。

  • Rebecca
    your own blog is blocked indeed in China now. Though RSS reading is still in effect.

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