A browser named Tuber made by 360 Security, has given millions of Chinese the access to uncensored internet for a while. The app has been downloaded over five million times and was removed by the Appstore without any intimation. Till then, it has let users pass through China’s Great Firewall and browser global sites.
Bypassing the Great Firewall
It’s widely known that the Chinese government has limited internet accessed by its citizens. Named as the Great Firewall, it censors external content passed to Chinese and also the data flowing out of China to others. While this being the case for more than a decade, Chinese Android users have tasted, for the first time, an official bypass to the world’s internet.
Since they’re being monitored by the Great Firewall, Chinese users try VPNs to hide their identity while accessing the global internet. While the government regularly checks for illegal VPNs and removes, it’s still hard for Chinese users to see outside without being monitored.
But, a browser named Tuber has given them an official route to access the external virtual world. Made by the Chinese security company called 360 Security, Tuber browser was installed over 5 million times since its launch from late September. While it offers free access to the external internet, it’s still reported to censor some content.
For example, a search in Chinese regarding president Xi Jinping in YouTube yielded only six videos, and in English, there are none. Yet, it was appreciated by users since they’re allowed to browse the long-banned services like Instagram, Facebook, Google etc. But, the app was mysteriously removed from the Huawei’s app store on Saturday, without any notice.
May this was learned by government, and understood that it’s breaching its native rules, it was removed from the appstore. This made the Chinese users rely on the old methods as before, to access free uncensored internet. A request from Bloomberg to the app maker and the Chinese government for more information wasn’t answered.