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“Privileged Internet Freedom” during the Beijing Winter Olympics

On February 4, a Chinese netizen posted a picture taken at the “Beijing Winter Olympics reception lobby.”

The picture was of a notice board with a blue background, with a large Wifi logo above and six smaller icons, each representing YouTube, Google Chrome, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram. The six applications are banned in China and ordinary Chinese Internet users cannot access them .

This posting was deleted two hours after it had been posted. At present, a number of netizens have also been blocked from resending the picture.

According to Beijing News, a newspaper based in Beijing, there are 82 “official reception hotels” for the Beijing Winter Olympics, located in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. These official hotels are responsible for hosting the International Olympics Committee and the International Paralympic Committee families, international sports federations, national and regional Olympic and Paralympic committees, the press and other media, and other stakeholders.

Yu Debin, the head of the Games Service Department of the Beijing Organizing Committee, told Beijing News that these officially designated hotels will “launch overseas satellite channels in accordance with the law, with a good 5G network and barrier-free network transformation.”

Source: China Digital Times, February 4, 2022