China's Internet lockdown hurts local e-businesses

But China said it has started restoring some Internet access to Xinjiang province

China has started restoring some Internet access to a province where it was blocked after deadly ethnic riots two weeks ago, but the outage has already taken a toll on local businesses.

China blocked all Internet access in western Xinjiang province to prevent the spread of rioting that killed at least 197 and injured 1,600. Chinese state media has accused Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority, of using instant messaging programs and Web sites like Facebook to plan the violence, which started with attacks against the majority Han Chinese ethnic group.

But the Internet lockdown has also slowed or crippled business for local companies with mainly online operations.

"I'm extremely worried, I don't know when the Internet will come back" said Deng Jing, a Xinjiang resident who runs an online store selling dried fruit, nuts and other snacks to buyers around China.

An associate in Gansu province, hundreds of miles away, has managed Deng's online communication and sales during the Internet outage, she said. Deng said the arrangement could be handled by phone but has pushed up costs.

"The impact on our work has been very large," Deng said.

Xinjiang has started restoring Internet access for some "specialized" online operations, the state-run Xinhua news agency cited a local official as saying over the weekend.

But the official did not elaborate on where the Internet was available, and said public access would only return gradually as the province stabilizes, according to the report.

China also blocked Twitter and Facebook across the country following the riots, and those Web sites remained inaccessible in the country on Monday.

The ethnic rioting on June 5 began with peaceful Uighur marches in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, but turned violent late in the day. Mobs of Han Chinese responded by carrying clubs and shovels through the city's streets in search of Uighurs days later. Of the people killed, at least 137 were Han Chinese and 46 were Uighurs, according to an official breakdown given before the death toll was increased.

The rioting was sparked by anger in Xinjiang over an ethnic brawl that left two Uighurs dead at a toy factory in far-away southern China.

Chinese state media also said the Internet lockdown had harmed e-businesses in Xinjiang. One online shop owner in Urumqi had made no sales for several days, the state-run newspaper China Daily said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Chinae-business

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?