China will lift bans on politically sensitive foreign sites such as Facebook (FB), Twitter and The New York Times (NYT), but only in the Shanghai free trade zone, the South China Morning Post reported.
“In order to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free-trade zone, we must think about how we can make them feel like at home. If they can’t get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China,” a Chinese government source told the South China Morning Post.
The policy will only apply to the free-trade zone, announced in July, the first Hong Kong-like entity on the mainland. It’ll be 28.8 kilometers, including the Waigaoqiao duty-free zone and Yangshan port. The goal is to help restructure the economy, encourage foreign investment and begin to liberalize currency and capital flows. Some believe the zone could be widened substantially if successful. Several other cities have applied for similar free trade status.
The open Internet policy, though very limited in area, comes as China intensifies its social-media crackdown in the wider country.
The South China Morning Post only referred to foreign Internet firms, so domestic sites may not get special privileges in the Shanghai zone.
So what will happen to QQ? Guess FB’s stock will be up BIG time tomorrow?
Source Investor Business Daily