After I started the website for nearly eleven years, V2EX finally got its special treatment from China – China blocked it for the Internet users in the mainland by SNI filtering and DNS poisoning. In those sleepless nights, I lay on my bed and kept thinking about what is really blocked when we are talking about that wall and its blockage.
It becomes obvious that in recent years more and more controls are being imposed there. For dealing with the website hosted in China, they have ICP filing, public security filing, and a brand new Cyber Administration to monitor and act. Individuals and corporations obey. Those websites and apps that are not hosted in China will be blocked in most cases once they got big, especially if it is a website in Chinese.
Thus, control of the usage of the Chinese language is accomplished. That is the sad part. Internet is the most effective way to spread ideas in this era, while the usage of a language used by 1.4 billion people is strictly controlled. Of course, you can write in Chinese on a server outside China, but if what you wrote cannot reach its most potential audience, the meaning of writing itself is reduced.
Such control of a language is probably quite unique if we can have a chance to look back from a historical perspective. Now I just have no idea where that will go.
During the early days of founding Singapore, they chose English as the primary language. It was a pragmatic choice. Also, English is not controlled by any country but shared by a whole world outside China.