U.S. Labels Chinese Internet Filters as Trade Barrier

By Victoria Hines

The U.S. Trade Representative said in a report that Chinese interest controls operate as a trade barrier. These controls block the public from accessing online materials by requiring Internet traffic to be filtered through state-controlled gateways. After the release of the Panama Papers, the Chinese government has blocked access to documents implicating political figures. The U.S. report did not specify whether they would take action in the WTO. Rather, the report focuses on the economic costs of Chinese censorship. Many Chinese web users also complain about the controls, stating that they adversely impact their ability to communicate with customers or business partners abroad.