China is a place where thing can change overnight, and Shanghai is an exemplar of the country’s breakneck pace. We’ve gotten used to it: a bridge by our house was repainted four times, resurfaced by hand (and chisel), and finished in about five days. But unexpected change can surprise us: we woke up this morning to rumors spreading through twitter that WordPress had been unblocked, and a feeling somewhat like yuletide glee descended upon us.
It’s like an early Christmas present: we disabled our VPNs, checked it out ourselves, and found that WordPress has, indeed, finally come back to life. For us, it’s mind numbingly slow, as if it just awoke from a long slumber (how long has it been?), but we’re glad to have it back. We’re a bit curious as to why the site was suddenly unblocked, and we’ve been wondering: do you think WordPress cut a deal with the government after years of detainment and e-torture? Our new theory: WP spilled the beans on twitter in exchange for its own freedom.
But for every happy new beginning, there must be a sad ending. It seems that BTChina, along with a number of other BitTorrent sites around the country, have been forced to close by the government. Why was P2P blocked in a land where copyright infringement is as ubiquitous as street food vendors? Simple: Porn. While it’s been denied that anyone is physically under arrest, the news comes as a blow to pirates around the country. Actually, let’s rephrase that: it’s a blow to pirates around the country who aren’t making money by selling fake cds, dvds, and software. In fact, the people down on Dagu Lu are probably pretty happy about it.