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Donald Trump is using Twitter in China despite bans on western social media

Some of the most popular social media sites are banned in China

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 08 November 2017 16:37 GMT
Mr Trump is visiting China on his first official visit to Asia since becoming president
Mr Trump is visiting China on his first official visit to Asia since becoming president (AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump won’t let anything stop him from tweeting, not even the great firewall of China.

The President is tweeting during his first official trip to China since his inauguration, even though China has blocked many western social media platforms, including China.

“The president will tweet whenever he wants,” an official told reporters on Air Force One as he headed to Beijing on the third leg of his 11-day trip across Asia. “That’s his way of communicating direct with the American people.”

Westerners are frequently able to get around the social media ban while travelling in China, either by using a virtual private network or through data-roaming services. The President himself doesn’t have to connect his phone to any Chinese services to tweet.

“I’m sure we’ve got the gear aboard this airplane to allow that to happen,” the official continued. “But it is noteworthy that none of the major Western platforms for social media are even allowed to operate in China.”

China has long said that they want to open up their economy to the rest of the world, but has still blocked some of the most popular social media platforms used by the rest of the world.

The country has banned Facebook, the world’s most popular social media platform, since 2009. Some analysts believe that that ban was implemented in response to riots that broke out that year between Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese in the northwestern province of Xinjiang. The tech giant is still seeking to establish a Shanghai office, in spite of the ban.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, other popular western social media platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest are also banned in China.

The country is estimated to produce as many as 488 million fabricated social media posts each year in an effort to distract citizens from sensitive issues.

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