Chinese internet giant Baidu has partnered with a San Francisco start-up to create an expressway through China’s troublesome Great Firewall. This means that logging on to certain foreign websites in China (and vice-versa) may soon be much less hellish. Hallelujah!
The partnership was actually signed back in July 2014, but just made public last week. It links China’s Google equivalent Baidu with a security company based in San Francisco called CloudFlare. Basically, with CloudFlare’s sophisticated web traffic technology and Baidu’s extensive network of data centers, the two companies hope to help foreign websites load much faster in China while enabling Chinese websites to work better outside of the Great Firewall. If you want the full tech mumbo jumpo nitty-gritty check here for CloudFare’s own report.
According to The New York Times, the service, called Yunjiasu, is marketed toward foreign firms looking to expand in China, but are currently mucked down in the slow internet speeds. The service already boasts some impressive numbers like 450,000 businesses making for 57 billion page views per month, and apparently saving users 243 years of load time in just a 24-hour period last week. What are we going to do with all this extra time?!
Of course, this doesn’t mean a miraculous end to censorship. Baidu will cooperate with China’s internet laws and restrictions as always and CloudFlare has agreed to do so as well, so you aren’t going to see Facebook, Twitter or The New York Times itself signing up for Yunjiasu any time soon.