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New Chinese browser offers a glimpse beyond the Great Firewall – with caveats – TechCrunch

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China now has a device that lets customers entry YouTube, Fb, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and different web providers which have in any other case lengthy been banned within the nation.

Referred to as Tuber, the cellular browser not too long ago debuted on China’s third-party Android shops, with an iOS launch within the pipeline. The touchdown web page of the app contains a scrolling feed of YouTube movies, with tabs on the backside that enable customers to go to different mainstream Western web providers.

Whereas some rejoice the app as an unprecedented “opening up” of the Chinese language web, others rapidly observed the browser comes with a veil of censorship. YouTube queries for politically delicate key phrases akin to “Tiananmen” and “Xi Jinping” returned no outcomes on the app, in line with assessments finished by PJDM.

Utilizing the app additionally comes with liabilities. Registration requires a Chinese language cellphone quantity, which is tied to an individual’s actual id. The platform might droop customers’ accounts and share their information “with the related authorities” in the event that they “actively watch or share” content material that breaches the structure, endangers nationwide safety and sovereignty, spreads rumors, disrupts social orders, or violates different native legal guidelines, in line with the app’s phrases of service.

Somewhat than blocking websites which are past the purview of Beijing and monitoring people utilizing VPNs to avoid the Nice Firewall, China now has an app that offers its folks a glimpse into the Western web — with the caveat that their digital footprint could also be below shut watch by the authorities.

A lot concerning the app stays unclear, akin to its origin and the motive behind it. The operator of the app’s official web site (上海丰炫信息技术有限公司) is 70% owned by a subsidiary of Qihoo 360, a Chinese language cybersecurity software program large. It stays to be seen whether or not the app will take off.

That is an updating story.

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Rita Liao