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Shenzhen Mass Media Part I(Internet/Web)

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Online mass media in Shenzhen is easily accessible, thanks to the large number of Internet cafes in the area. Shenzhen’s main online media hub is http://www.sznews.com, a project of the Shenzhen Press Group. The platform offers the latest developments in local news, as well as information on events going on around the metro. The Shenzhen website is available in English, and is a useful tool for tourists trying to find their way around the city.

The Shenzhen Media Group also offers a live online broadcast of the Shenzhen Radio Station at their website, http://www.szr.com.cn/. The different radio shows offered by the station cover news, lifestyle tips and entertainment, traffic updates, and popular music. Navigating the website might be a little more difficult for foreigners, as the site’s text is entirely in simplified Han, with no option for an English version. Certain browsers and online services, however, do an adequate job of translating the text into workable English.

While the Internet is easily accessible in Shenzhen, connection speeds in the area tend to be slower than other metropolitan areas like Hong Kong. Some experts peg the maximum speed at about 3Mb per second. Although there is an option to remotely connect to faster services in Hong Kong, the charges made on the mobile SIM cards connecting to the services can be quite pricey. For comparison, an Internet café in Shenzhen usually charges 3 RMB per hour, whereas 1Mb using a remote connection to Hong Kong will set users back HK$140.

In addition to the slower speeds, web access in Shenzhen tends to be a little more restrictive in comparison to Hong Kong. Popular sites such as Yahoo! HK and Google HK are blocked in the area, giving Internet users limited choices in the sites they visit. The issue of Internet censorship is also a hot topic in Shenzhen, with local authorities requiring all Internet cafés to install certain spyware applications that allow the police to screen the websites users are accessing. If a prohibited website registers on the authorities’ monitors, the user is immediately traced.

This puts Internet use in Shenzhen in a unique position – rather than being used for recreation, many people regard it more as a mass media entity, disseminating news and advisories for public information. While some recreational use is indeed possible, the limited speed and restrictions in website access make it more efficient to use the Internet for mass media portals like the aforementioned Shenzhen Media Group and Shenzhen Press Group websites.

For Further Reading:

Shenzhen Mass Media Part II(Broadcast)

Shenzhen Mass Media Part III(Print)

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