Chinese Students Turn to Anti-Censorship Software

College education is a time for learning. But in China, most students are restricted in what they’re allowed to know under the Chinese regime’s censorship system. For example, the 1989 crackdown on student pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square has been left out of Chinese history books and any references to it has been censored on the internet.

So college students are turning to anti-censorship software to get the information they need.

[Jing, Chinese College Student]:
“[My friends] use anti-censorship software to visit overseas social media websites. If you want to know things, you go to overseas websites to find out. It’s good to know more things.”

Democracy activist Chen Xi says students want access to reliable information.

[Chen Xi, Chinese Democracy Activist]:
“They are looking for the truth, to see a more truthful world. They no longer want to be deceived by the Chinese communist regime’s propaganda tool, or continue living with lies.”

A student, who has yet to circumvent the regime’s online censorship, thinks it’s a good idea to have access to uncensored information.

[Wang, Chinese College Student]:
“I think it’s better to let people know the truth. It’s not good to filter things from the public. I support letting people know exactly how things are. Don’t hide it. I personally support using anti-censorship software.”

Last year, Chinese netizen Jason Ng surveyed China’s anti-censorship software users. He found 86% of the 5300 respondents have a college education or higher. Most use free-tools to circumvent online censorship, like Freegate developed by overseas Chinese.