Recently the New York Times announced that CloudFlare has partnered with Internet search giant Baidu in China, Google’s eerily similar competitor, to deliver Yunjiasu, a CloudFlare-like service in China. The service is aimed at speeding up Internet connectivity and providing some level security services for its customers, including limited DDoS mitigation. It will likely operate similar to CloudFlare itself, with the exception of falling within the jurisdiction of the Chinese government and therefore Chinese censorship and draconian Internet laws. The New York Times considers this as possibly a “new model for American tech firms that are considering doing business in the delicate areas of China’s tech industry.”
China and Its Internet
There are many countries that provide some level of censorship and control over their population, especially with regards to the Internet. China, however, stands fairly unique in the world in this regard. It has managed to shield the entire country – all 1.35Bn people from what it deems as inappropriate or subversive to the current political regime. This is by no means a trivial matter. The sheer volume of data that passes in and out of China is immense. They’ve managed to control this flow with a comprehensive firewall known as the Great Firewall. This is a defensive system.