BBC Chinese recently reported on the annual report that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) just released. The report identified China’s policy of using the so-called Great Firewall to block international websites as a trade barrier. This is first time the USTR annual report included mention of the Great Firewall. The USTR official pointed out that blocking hundreds of millions of Internet users from the daily tools that are used globally, such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter disrupts international corporations from being able to conduct business in China. At the same time, China also blocks the majority of the large-scale international news sites. The USTR report mentioned a normal U.S. furniture company that China has blocked as an example of censorship against sites unrelated to politics. That clearly proves the Internet blocking mechanism is being used as a trade barrier. China responded to the USTR report by asking the United States to respect the rights every country has to regulate the use of their own Internet.
Source: BBC Chinese, April 8, 2016