Mainland China’s international relations have often been tense, although the current Chinese government is actively investing in countries overseas. One of the ways in which the Chinese government monitors both foreign and domestic news is by blocking certain websites. This includes Chinese-language news outlets that are not state-owned, such as those that provide information alarmingly contrary to Chinese Communist Party rhetoric.

In general, these news outlets are blocked inside Mainland China and its authoritarian policies often make it difficult to access this information. When China finds out about an outlet that reports negative information then it may block that website entirely, preventing access both inside and outside of Mainland China. This means that direct access to Overseas Chinese-language news outlets might be blocked inside Mainland China, but it remains accessible from out of China.

In contrast, international English language websites such as the BBC and other large media outlets are often available to view from within Mainland China. This may be partially due to the fact that the Chinese government has less access to control English-language news, as well as the fact that mainstream English-language news sources tend to cover news in a way that does not go against Chinese Communist Party rhetoric.

That being said, even English-language news sites can be filtered at times of tension. When Chinese relations are poor with a certain country, its media outlets may be blocked for containing “subversive information” or being unfavorable towards the Chinese government. This even includes international news sources such as the BBC and even the New York Times which may be blocked when reporting about certain issues in Mainland China.

In many cases, these filters can be circumvented through the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) but there is no guarantee that the information provided may not contain some kind of bias from the Chinese Communist Party. In addition, these VPNs can be unstable due to China’s continuous efforts to track down and block them.

It is therefore evident that accessing true and accurate news from within mainland China is a difficult process and is accompanied with risk. Chinese-language news outlets that are not state-owned, as well as some international English-language websites, are often filtered or blocked in an effort to control the narrative within the Chinese population. Additionally, those attempting to access this information may even face severe consequences for how they do so. As a result, staying abreast with current events within Mainland China is certainly a complex and potentially hazardous process.