The internet users of China have faced numerous restrictions regarding Social Media sites. These sites are blocked under the policies of Internet Censorship in the People’s Republic of China.
They of course have also had YouTube blocked in China. China regularly blocks websites that contain material on politically sensitive subjects along with some pornographic sites. There had been some controversies that sites like Playboy and Penthouse were available for viewing but sites like Wikipedia weren’t.
It is indeed a point to ponder that the policies of Internet Censorship of China are quite vague. Some of the Social Media sites that have been blocked in China are FaceBook, Vimeo, Twitter, Google+, IMDb, Picasa, Technorati, Blogspot, Wretch, PBworks and Plurk.
YouTube Blocked in China from 2007-2008:
Some reports say that the blocking of YouTube in mid-October of 2007 was because of the 17th Communist Party Congress meeting. This meeting was said to be China’s most important political meeting. It's responsible for creating China’s five-year plans and in turn caused YouTube to be blocked in China. China’s media regulators and organizations were on high alert that any such content or video shouldn’t be uploaded on web sites that they might find objectionable or may offend the government.
Other reports say that they got YouTube blocked in China because they launched a Chinese version of YouTube for the people of China to make it more accessible to them.
China has created many equivalent sites to some of the most popular websites like Google (Chinese: version Baidu, Sousou), Amazon (Chinese version: Dangdang, Taobao), WordPress and Blogger (Chinese version: Sina Blogs), Hulu (Chinese version: Qiyi) and YouTube (Chinese version: Tudou, Youku). There are even Chinese versions of Twitter (Weibo) Facebook (RenRen) and MSN (QQ).
On 22nd March, 2008 YouTube became unblocked for unknown reasons. But not for long…
YouTube Blocked in China from 2009-onwards:
YouTube was again blocked in China from 24th March, 2009 due to the videos released showing Chinese police officers brutally beating Tibetans after riots in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. This blocking added to the communist government's efforts to control what the people saw about protests that broke out in Lhasa against Chinese rule.
A report by the Xinhua news agency of China said that the supporters of Dalai Lama (the spiritual and state leader) made a fake video that appeared to show Chinese police officers storming into the monastery and savagely beating the Tibetans.
The government officials challenged the authenticity of this video but in a statement given by a representative of the Tibetan government in exile, Mr. Lobsang Nyandak, said that the video was indeed authentic.
The blocking of YouTube came as no surprise as it also hosts videos of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. The video of protest in Lhasa have been removed by YouTube but other copies still exist and YouTube still remains blocked in China.
Users looking to unblock YouTube in China have two tools to rely on – web based proxies and virtual private networks. Mobile devices like iPhone and iPad or Android devices can only use proxies because mobile VPN protocols were blocked in early 2011. VPN use is still popular with Mac OS/X, Windows, and Linux owners because of the advanced security features in comparison to proxies. Here are two of the more popular companies that have not had their services blocked in China. Securitales is a web based proxy with a price tag of $6 a month, and 12VPN is of course a VPN service for $6.50 a month. I have personally used both, and recommend them above all other services I've tried over the years.