Business may fall for many cafe owners in the big cities of China as more people are avoiding these shops. The reason is that they are no longer providing wi-fi services, which were really popular with their customers. This is the after-effect of an order issued by the Chinese administration, which restricts the use of wi-fi services.
Cost, reason and accusations
The order requires all wi-fi service providers in public places to install costly software that will help identify the wi-fi user. The software is priced at anything between 20,000 yuan ($3100) to 60,000 yuan ($9300), according to China Business News. The violation of this order may lead to a fine of 5,000 yuan.
The Chinese administration says that this will help them cut down upon illegal activities. This is not the first time China has imposed restrictions upon viewing content on the internet. This is just the latest in a spate of blockages, as a part of their censorship system.
Rainsoft, the software maker of this particular software, and frequent collaborator with Chinese police has also been pulled into question. It has been speculated that the company has intimate ties with high ranking officials in the police force and thus this order is being so ruthlessly enforced.
China’s bad cyber history
China has had a bad history, blocking the search giant Google in July last year. Coupled with that, it has also been guilty of blocking Gmail, Google’s email service, as recently as May this year. China angered Google by restricting search results in May, 2010. China has also been accused of blocking the Android market. These are significant, as China has the highest number of online users, with official figures of 485 million.
A huge public outcry in China prevented the government of going ahead with their plans of installing an Internet filter software on every PC sold in the country in 2009. While the Chinese administration saw it as a way of protecting children from pornographic and violent content on the net, others saw it as a gross violation of privacy.