And for a "middle class" of blocked sites, while not technically blocked, the packet delay is so great most people (except a dedicated few) will just shrug and figure that cross-continent internet connections must be too slow to be practical. Accessible, but only if you're willing to wait a minute. A brilliant political play, because it's hard to pin a charge oppression on anyone, since the information is technically there, but so slow nobody will access it.
Korea did something something similar with its Chaebols' (Hyundai, Samsung, or other large Korean companies in countless industries) in the 80s. It had protectionist policies that let the Korean companies charge outrageous prices domestically, and used that revenue to become very competitive internationally. And it worked.
I am not sure if the US had, on average, higher tariffs while it was developing than other countries. The US really became passionate politically about free trade after the great depression. Many economists felt that the depression was made much worse by protectionism that undermined world trade.
The US did that after several centuries of economony building with huge protectionism and slavery. And remained there by using their army to ensure cheap resources, favorable contracts, lackeys in place in subservient countries, etc. The environment to create the "advanced tech" comes from that.
Similarly the UK and France become major economic powers by enslaving half the globe with their military. Their great "tech" and such come after the colonies, not before.
It was technological advantages that enabled them to enslave half the globe with their military.
Nothing to write home about, tech wise.
Comfort and suffering seem to go hand in hand. Subsidized rice creates a surplus, which floods the market, which [seemingly paradoxically, but not really] results in famine in Haiti.
 - http://www.salon.com/2014/09/07/we_still_lie_about_slavery_h...
I would argue the US' protection from the ravages of WW1 and WW2 led to its economic power. Before WW1 the US wasn't a major player on the international stage.
EX: The first cotton gin was patented in 1793 which is 68 years before the American civil war. But, with cheap labor there is little pressure to improve it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton_gin Sadly, it ended up increasing slavery in the south by making it more profitable, where a modern farm uses far less labor the south simply doubled down on cheap labor.
PS: There is actually a fair amount of evidence that Slavery significantly reduced US economic growth over time. Paid workers keep more of their output which is a non-issue from an overall economic standpoint, but they need far less supervision which is a large boon. There also more mobile and easier to fire and higher as needs change.
So ya, maybe by the mid-1800, additional forces were established. But the only reason that was a possibility was because, from the 1500s onward, people wanted to (and did) exploited the fertile soil. It's like taking a snapshot of 1979 and saying Michael Corleone was a legitimate business man.
Also, there was other crappy stuff going on beyond slavery (but slavery-like). The building of the transcontinental railroad. Taxes on non-US citizens (with restrictions on what races could become US-citizens).
It seems like protectionism would help in this case, by creating a market that can only be satisfied by domestic industries. And since there's a spectrum from this case to more realistic cases, there's also a spectrum of usefulness for protectionism. Does that make sense?
Ricardian comparative advantage always applies when ignoring transaction costs; reducing transaction costs for any given set of transactions (e.g., by eliminating formal restrictions on capital movement) increases (rather than reduces) the likelihood that Ricardian comparative advantage applies.
(If you want an extreme case in which Ricardian comparative advantage to fails to apply, you need to assume extreme transaction costs -- one of the canonical hypothetical examples where this is argued to the case is an interstellar civilization without FTL travel.)
1) England can produce a unit of cloth for 100 units of labor, and a unit of wine for 120 units of labor. Portugal can produce a unit of cloth for 90 units of labor, and a unit of wine for 80 units of labor. Portugal has absolute advantage in both goods, but England has a comparative advantage in cloth. By the standard Ricardian argument, we get lots of trade and happiness.
2) Now let's change the situation slightly. Replace all occurrences of "units of labor" with "units of capital", and assume that capital can move freely between countries. We've lost the key component of comparative advantage, the idea that producing a good forces you to "forgo" producing some other good. Everyone just produces everything in Portugal, and England dies. Whoops!
3) Now allow England to set up protectionism, so that all wine consumed in England must be locally produced. This way it can survive. Not very nicely, but between (2) and (3) I'd choose (3) every time.
Am I missing something?
If you look at actual neoliberal trade, a lot of production of goods (and even services, to the extent that they can be provided remotely) moves to the peripheries, but the core's comparative advantage becomes in renting out surplus capital (which produces even more surplus capital to rent out). That is, the developed world in actual neoliberal trade with free capital movement are the countries that are like England in your example.
Why? Because nature abhors a vacuum? :-)
As far as I can tell, production doesn't really move to the poorest countries like the one in my example. It seems that it moves to countries that have an absolute (not just comparative) advantage in manufacturing costs.
Well, because "England" and "Portugal", on the level that Ricardian comparative advantage really works, aren't really countries, but sets of people (and, really, the comparative advantage really exists on the individual level, its existence between sets of people is simply an aggregate of its individual existence.)
Absent an external actor using force to compel an involuntary transfer, productive capital moving from person E to person P requires some item(s) of value moving to E such that the value to E justifies surrendering the capital.
I'd imagine, if they provide something unique, they can succeed. However, if it's (for example) a commodity industry, they're unlikely to have faced the same pressure to become efficient that their new competitors have.
Although, on the flip side, that timeline sounds excellent for growing a monopoly-busting competitor. (E.g. what my understanding is that the French do from time-to-time)
Most China Internet companies are more successful not because their foreign competitors are blocked, but they are more agile to move and adapt products/services to local market.
There are lots of examples. Alibaba beat eBay(never blocked) badly. JD is much popular than Amazon.com China which is continuously operating in China for long time. Tencent becomes an Internet empire via QQ, an instant messaging service which AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft all can not find reasonable monetization ways.
Maybe the best counter-example is Baidu with Google nearly blocked fully. But before that, after several years operating, Google' market share is below 30%.
When you look at the cost per vehicle paid by consumers in scenario A vs scenario B, there's a clear argument to be made. With services, it's more speculative. Is the average haircut in China better or worse than Malaysia's? With web services, it's near impossible to measure consumption or consumer surplus. The underlying economics driving normal goods and services industries (economies of scale, price competitions, marginal costs of production) aren't there. That makes the economics we can measure in goods industries and theorize in services industries very shaky.
Economists generally do have a sense that choice is good and protectionism is bad, but it's hard to formalize or measure when the products are newspapers, search engines, social networks and dating apps.
Seems to me, the need to be in control is enough motivation for these acts... without ever thinking that someone will have to build a Chinese amazon
Before anyone asks, I live in Fujian and I use a government licensed VPN.
But there's no point in using facebook if all your friends aren't on facebook.
I close websites if I hit a paywall. Would I really go through the effort to hit a VPN? ....nah.
Without paying (a VPN), of course...
Quality of service matters, not just existence of service. There's a reason why lots of engineering effort goes into reducing latency. When the user is in China and the website is hosted outside, the Great Firewall negates all that effort.
The Great Firewall is a wash at best. It protects local companies from international competition but it's part of a policy that makes foreigners trust Chinese products much less and will hurt their adoption.
Even sites like Wikipedia, supposedly available to anyone to edit, are pretty much dominated by specific points of view and ideas (even if sometimes those who held those like to think that those ideas are or should be universal and/or neutral).
Neither economically, nor culturally does it make sense for a nation the size of China (or even for EU, but I digres) to participate in such a web. They are not some pushover country that was created a century ago. They have their own, millenia old, civilization. It's not like they are isolated by doing the firewall thing either. They get all the good (and the crap) we get in large does anyway, from the Kardasians to Jackson Pollock.
Think experiment: if the internet was mostly run and dominated by USSR, including a "neutral" Commipedia full of USSR points of view and material, would the US adopt it? Or would they build their own counterpart?
In the short term yes, but as China is "opened up" more to the western world, this separation and state sponsorship will hurt international growth for domestic Chinese companies.
Many in the "middle" ground will operate as they always did, but if you're a big Chinese tech company looking to expand around the world- this will hurt potential partnerships and foreign investment.
I'm not sure I follow. It's not like there's a huge demand to do business with local Chinese nationals. There's opportunity, sure, there's always opportunity, but don't confuse that with demand. Unfortunately, very few businesses outside of China could even compete with domestic companies anyways. They're literally working for pennies on the dollar. That's also ignoring the cultural and language barriers, not to mention governmental red-tape you would have to go through.
It would be like me trying to set up an customer service business here in Maine and trying to sell my services to a lower-middle sized company in India. I wouldn't be able to compete with local Indian companies since their overhead and costs are significantly less than mine. Obviously there are exceptions depending on the industry, but they are just that, exceptions.
If they "understood the value" of that, these shenanigans wouldn't have been necessary in the first place.
A island nation with highly accessible fisheries populated by 100 people in the middle of the ocean could spend their labor on building a CDN or fishing.
If they use other's CDNs, the money they sent would be used by foreigners to buy their fish, which could be produced very cheaply. Building their CDN means forgoing their fishing opportunity. Building a CDN means they can now sell their CDN services cheaper than it would have cost them to run a website to sell their fish, but the benefit is marginal compared to the income they would have received by focusing their labor in an industry where they have comparative advantage.
They must choose only one because they have limited labor.
...Land, labor, capital and technology is wealth, and money only represent a claim on that wealth.
Trade walls hurt everyone in the long term.
Many, many people with little technical ability use a VPN, especially in businesses dealing with the West.
Most non-Chinese IP websites are not blocked but traffic gets slowed down by factor 40. I have an offshore webserver. A ping suggests a 50% packet loss.
Often you can access foreign websites. At least sometimes. Some days even gmail does work. Everything works sometimes or a little bit and or is unbelievable slow.
What I never understood with my self build SSH proxy VPN: China seems to be able to sniff on it. Facebook and Google were most of the time not working, even with the proxy. Maybe the 50% packet loss makes their websites non functional.
I just bought Astill VPN and for now I must say they are doing a tremendous job.
This likely caused by the limited peering arrangements of your host. I rent ~10 virtual private servers outside China, and ping times vary between 90ms ('best' provider) to 500ms ('worst' provider). Packet loss varies over time, but has never been an issue with > half of the providers.
> What I never understood with my self build SSH proxy VPN: China seems to be able to sniff on it.
Were you using an HTTP proxy (e.g. forwarding a local port to squid running on your VPS) or a SOCKS proxy (just using the SSH command to act as a socks proxy)? If the latter, then your DNS queries would still be resolved locally (probably by your ISP's DNS server and, even if using an external DNS server, subject to MITM).
##Preference Name Status Type Value
network.proxy.socks_remote_dns user set boolean true
There's two possibilities that I can see; you were letting your DNS requests leak and they were being poisoned, or they were doing a direct MITM hijack of your SSH session. Neither is particularly comforting, but it's fairly easy to work out which if either is going on.
I resolve my DNS through my proxy.
##Preference Name Status Type Value
network.proxy.socks_remote_dns user set boolean true
@ WARNING: REMOTE HOST IDENTIFICATION HAS CHANGED! @
IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOMEONE IS DOING SOMETHING NASTY!
Things like custom protocol handshakes will give the underlying application away. It doesn't matter if the traffic itself is encrypted.
NOTE: A bridge is not the same as an exit node. Only exit nodes could possibly attract attention from authorities. If you are just running a bridge, you are only helping people circumvent government firewalls to join the Tor network. The default EC2 Tor Cloud images only run as a bridge.
Currently it works well because we get more and more tools to deal with GFW, but do you know how frustrating it is in the early days of the Internet in China that you spent nearly half of your life just to solve "networking issues"?
Put yourself in others' shoes for a moment please.
"Losses due to filtering: X yuan. The illusion of control: Priceless. Some sites we like, for everything else there's the GFW."
Protection from the west by the great firewall has made Chinese services flourish.
Compare this to say, Japan, where the native social network Mixi has been practically destroyed by foreign competitors.
Or, maybe it was that Mixi had been lagging behind for ages and deservingly died off. You might also want to add that Line , a domestic company (well, subsidiary of a South Korean company, but still...), is now pretty much dominating the market.
Lagging behind who? ...foreign competitors. I'm not saying Mixi was great, but if it didn't have to deal with facebook/twitter/instagram/naver LINE then it would have had a much greater chance of remaining relevant.
Any serious service is localised in Chinese.
> and local (faster, even without the GFW)
Any serious service would use a Chinese CDN or host servers inside China.
> And some are just better, WeChat and Taobao for example.
Would WeChat and Taobao have reached critical momentum if they were subjected to the full force of competition in their early phases? It's impossible to know of course, but it's something to consider.
They are hosting mirrors on Akamai, Azure, Cloudfront.
They previously hosted on Amazon S3 and Cloudflare, they were blocked in China already
Well, greatfire.org sure don't think they were peeing anyway, on the contrary, "It's an honor", under the name of freedom of speech, the collateral damage is much more like a weapon against the government, if a website cleans those contents up on its own, the website will be tagged as "the enemy of freedom of speech", "self-censorship" as they call it. The mess keeps going on. I don't know who is winning here. What I do know is users are the losers.
But, I agree. I'd also like to see them stop. I now use a geo-IP filter and whitelist the few countries that actually don't appear to spam that much. Needless to say, China is not on that list.
Out of interest Brazil, Ukraine and Russia are also banned for this reason. Does anyone else have loads of comment spam originating from Brazil?
Did an inspect element/hover over the links and it shows the percentage that the site is blocked, which seems to be the same as the proportion of the link background that is red. Pretty neat use of styling.
I find it unlikely that Chinese rulers would want to send abroad anyone but its loyal opposers of democracy.
wow. I don't even...
If you are the son/daughter of a semi-high ranking CCP member the government will heavily vet you (assets, study program, where you intend to go). This is because of the "naked official" problem where corrupt members send their child out and then transfer illegitimate assets/cash out to the foreign country.
But your average chinese exchange student just has middle class parents who have just sunk their life savings into securing a better future for their child... that's it.
Not that I'm advocating this as a strategy, it's more of a warning. China has enemies, and those enemies can do a lot of damage feeding the fire that drives it's governments oppressive policies. And they can do it practically for free.
a) start re-developing, or
b) open up your wallet and pay someone else to do it, while
c) accepting greatly decreased web reliability and bandwidth and
d) preparing for enormous legal and polictical shenanigans of upsetting the status quo of traffic monitoring and the shape of telecommunications bandwidth.
I think this only cause problems for edgecast customers, and China doesn't give the slightest fuck.
And for those people who does want to see those "collateral freedom" mirrored content, they already have their own private circumventing methods.