ad info




TIME Asia
TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Entertainment
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia

TIME.com
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Asiaweek
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

 ASIAWEEK.COM
 CNN.COM
  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia
  australasia
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 SHOWBIZ
 ASIA WEATHER
 ASIA TRAVEL


Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest
FORTUNE.com
FORTUNE China
MONEY.com

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards

TIME ASIAWEEK ASIANOW TIME
SEARCH  GO

about Asia Buzz  |  more Asia Buzz

Asia Buzz: Cat and Mouse
Shanghainese Web addicts take on the authorities
By ERIC ELLIS

November 16, 2000
Web posted at 11:55 a.m. Hong Kong time, 10:55 p.m. EDT


Shanghai! Pearl of the East, Whore of Asia, the Dragon's Head, the New Hong Kong? Can imaginative copywriters come up with any more descriptions for this booming port city?

 INTERACTIVE  
Ticked off at Asia Buzz? Turned on? Talk back to TIME
 
Here's another: "Scourge of the Internet." But how can that be? Shanghai -- with its nerds who populate Fudan University -- is supposed to be the sharp end of the new Chinese economy?

Outwardly, that seems to be the case. Shanghai's polluted streets seem a lot like other busy Asian metropolises. Internet companies have also commandeered the sides of buses to advertise dotcoms, imploring locals to log on and make Netrepreneurs rich. The local business magazines profile groovy 20-something geeks clad in regulation city-black as if they are the new Jerry Yang of Yahoo! Occasionally there's an inquiring piece, like in this month's national business journal Caijing, which questions how these young pioneers are going to make money, particularly when you consider that a miniscule $10 million of China's $6 billion advertising spend found its way online.

     ASIA BUZZ

Asia Buzz: Election Special, Part 55
It could only happen in America
- Monday, November 13, 2000

Culture on demand: Election Knife-Edge
Our exclusive interview with an Absentee Palm Beach County voter
- Friday, November 10, 2000

Letter from Japan: Like a Kid in a Candy Shop
A day in the life of a columnist
- Friday, November 10, 2000

Asia Buzz: The Mile High Club
A website for pilots and airline types to get things off their chest is proving a hit
- Thursday, November 9, 2000

Culture on Demand: Love Match
The world's tennis legends let their hair down
- Friday, November 3, 2000

Asia Buzz: Online Advertising
Can you remember the last banner ad you clicked on?
- Tuesday, October 31, 2000

   ASIAWEEK
Intelligence
The story behind today's news from the editors of Asiaweek

Shanghai generally seems pretty upbeat and the World Trade Organization-bound China seems willing, if not desperate, to reinvent and integrate itself into the New Economy.

That is until you log on to sites, particularly those of foreign media (such as this one), which give you a bit more insight into modern Chinese life than the coal output for September in Heilongjiang province. And thus begins a boring cat-and-mouse game with local authorities as eager and determined to block useful sites as users are to access them. Users find themselves bouncing from proxy server to proxy server to get around the firewalls put up by China. Of course, one can simply dial into Hong Kong or the West and access a global ISP such as AOL, Compuserve or AT&T. But the $6 a minute that hotels and China Telecom charge makes that pretty prohibitive.

Furthermore, China is getting smarter, blocking more and more sites that enable samizdat Net surfing. One popular site used by underground surfers in recent months in Shanghai has been Anonymizer.com. The idea here is very simple. Anonymizer is hosted out of the U.S. and claims to provide a digital alias that stops pesky ISPs and sites from monitoring your surfing habits. You log on to Anonymizer, tap in the domain you want to access into the provided field, and Anonymizer does the rest. It locates the site and redirects you -- anonymously -- to your requested site.

Anonymizer has been a big hit this year with the foreign community in Shanghai, enabling them ready access to "subversive" activities like reading the "New York Times" online, or "TIME," among many others. But no more. The Chinese authorities have blocked the site in the past month -- frustrated users, particularly those less familiar with Net protocol, are fearful again that their online activities are being monitored and complain that China's censorship has gone too far. Stuff like this also worries proponents of China's accession to the World Trade Organization, with the group's new obsession with online commerce and information technology.

But because it's the Internet, users are proving infinitely resourceful. Suddenly Shanghainese Web addicts are getting skilled in basic German and Swedish in order to access popular proxy sites. It wouldn't be right for me to name them -- that might simply start another round of cat-and-mouse -- but suffice to say if you are heading to Shanghai and want to keep up with the news online, you might want to do some research on Stockholm and Frankfurt before you go.

Ticked off at Asia Buzz? Turned on? Talk back to TIME
Write to TIME at mail@web.timeasia.com
Search for recent Asia Buzz

TIME Asia home

AsiaNow


   LATEST HEADLINES:

WASHINGTON
U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

MANILA
Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

ALLAHABAD
Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

COLOMBO
Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

TOKYO
Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

BANGKOK
Thai party announces first coalition partner



TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state



ASIAWEEK:

COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN

 Search

Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.