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Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996 12:31:36 -0500
Sender: H-Net list for Asian History and Culture <H-ASIA@msu.edu>
From: Steve Leibo <LEIBO@cnsvax.albany.edu>
Subject: H-ASIA: The Net in the PRC
To: Multiple recipients of list H-ASIA <H-ASIA@msu.edu>

The Net in the PRC

A dialog on the H-Asia list, February 1996

Date: February 1, 1996
From: Yiliw@aol.com

Just FYI: A friend of mine reports that it is possible to open an internet account in China simply by going into any major Post and Telecommunications office. Access fees are moderate, but the lines are overcrowded and getting in to the network is a hassle. No news on how the recently-announced restrictions on new accounts will affect any of this, however.

Yi-Li Wu
Yale University

Date: February 1, 1996
From: Charles Stevenson <mendosan@mail.erols.com>

Included is a copy of a message received from another list regarding the mainland government's reported restriction of new Net users in Shanghai, if not elsewhere. While not, perhaps, directly connected to the announced topic of this list, it may have relevance. Does anyone know of other lists dealing more directly with these issues?

Charlie Stevenson

Thank God for Free Speech.....

My friend ***** in Shanghai has informed me that the Chinese government has stopped the internet provider in Shanghai from taking any more new customers because they are afraid too much information will be sent abroad. She says that there about 1000 people with internet service in Shanghai. I was always amazed that she had internet access anyhow. They'll probably stop it altogether next. As we debate HT guidelines for how to structure HT so we can better communicate to each other, the Chinese government clamps down again on freedom and communication to the outside world. It always amazed me that she had internet to begin with. She also told me that the service cost there was equivalent to a normal worker's monthly wages! I think I'll refrain from complaining to my internet provider when I have a hard time connecting due to heavy traffic on the lines! At least I have the service! It would really be a shame if the internet provider there was forced to close.I just don't understand the logic of that type of control....Seems anti-productive to me.

Mark B

Date: Sun, 4 Feb 1996 12:00:30 -0500
From: Elanah Rubin <iggy@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>

The recent postings on the internet in China are very interesting especially in light of the recent front page article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ- 1/31/96 Chinese Firewall: Beijing Seeks to Build Version of the Internet that can be Censored) In this article they discussed the development of a new internet service being developed in China that would be able to eliminate what is undesirable and keep what is good. Interestingly enough, the article also mentioned China News Digest (CND). They were mentioned in regard to China trying to prevent dissidents from communicating information to sympathizers in China. Apparently, upon Wei Jingsheng's most recent arrest CND mailed the full text of his Fifth Modernization to its 40,000 subscribers (some of whom are in China).


Elanah Uretsky
George Washington University

Subj:China tightens Internet controls

Chinese authorities have decided to temporarily suspend new Internet memberships, attributing the move to technical problems. But in a meeting last month with Premier Li Peng, officials declared it was imperative to develop new Internet controls. Industry insiders say China's future plans include building a centrally administered Internet backbone that would allow more oversight of e-mail and other activities. Meanwhile, Chinese businesses can use China Internet—a sort of intranet administered by former U.S. businessman James Chu—to access selected Web sites and databases, and to set up their own home pages and trade information. (Wall Street Journal 31 Jan 96 A1 x Edupage)

Date: Sun, 4 Feb 1996 12:00:30 -0500

I have just returned from several weeks in Shanghai and Beijing where my friends, both Chinese and foreign, are getting on the Internet. Indeed, there are ads in CHINA DAILY and some of the Chinese papers for Internet connections. Beida is in the process of cutting up sidewalks to lay new cables for Internet. Beida's address is @pku.edu.cn.

While it is true that the government is torn over how to deal with this strange new phenomena, at the moment the Internet to China is open to those who can afford it or are connected to a university.

A. Tom Grunfeld
SUNY/Empire State College