In recent news, the Chinese government announced that in China´s southern tropical island of Hainan there will be access to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube alongside China social media. As surprisingly as this seems, this decision made by the Chinese government has a huge project behind. China will lift part of its censorship system known as the “Great Firewall” that blocks access to most foreign social media and news sites.
Hainan can be described as the “Chinese Hawaii” as it has a great weather and it has a coastline full of hotels. China is trying to increase the promotion of this place and wants to create a destination for foreign tourists with an international free trade zone by 2020.
So opening the western social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will help increase the promotion of Hainan outside China. It´s a move that will be accompanied also by the promotion of Hainan in foreign channels like BBC and CNN. As well the Chinese government is working to increase the number of tourists by 25% each year until they reach 2 million tourists in 2020. They are working as well in boosting subsides to increase the number of international direct flights to and from Hainan to 100 by 2020. As well the government will abolish restrictions on foreign investment in air, rail and waterway transport.
Hainan´s provincial government is also making sure that credit and debit cards by foreign companies like Visa and MasterCard are accepted at the major tourist sites, shops and hotels.
In nearby southern regions of China like Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan there are fewer regulations and they have their own government. However the island of Hainan is under the Chinese government and this new policy that allows Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has generated some controversial opinions from Chinese citizens.