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For Businesses in China, Growing Online Censorship Multiplies Uncertainty

MIN READMay 5, 2022 | 15:07 GMT

The Chinese flag is seen on a display of an iPhone in Hong Kong.

The Chinese flag is seen on a display of an iPhone in Hong Kong.

(studioEAST/Getty Images)

Amid pressure from the government, social media companies in China are now effectively deputizing ordinary citizens to report on those who profess unorthodox views online. This will make China even more of a black box for business operations by further obscuring one of the only remaining windows into Chinese society at a time when the country is experiencing rapid policy change. On May 4, Reuters reported that Chinese citizens have been converting social media content about the Shanghai lockdown into sharable non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that cannot be deleted in order to protect such content from being censored. These efforts follow an April 27 report published by Trivium that Chinese social media platforms were planning to launch a new campaign against ''historical nihilism'' that encourages users to report other users who insult Marxism or China's current or past leaders, dispute or spread rumors about China's history, criticize China's culture, and/or ''whitewash''...

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