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Asia and Pacific Region Forum

IP banned in China
Has any one else had this experience?

 12:43 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Got a mail from our Chinese translator today. He can't access our server via FTP. Checking, I found that none of our 3 sites in Chinese have had any traffic from China since November. Same with our English language sites, so it seems that it is our IP-address that has been blocked.

Two of the Chinese sites are quite innocuous, offering hotel reservations for Stockholm and Copenhagen along with assorted tourist information. But one has much more content, including numerous pages about Swedish history, among them how democracy came about and how it works. I suspect this might have been the red flag.

We are still getting traffic from Taiwan and Hong Kong, but nothing from China itself. Has anyone else had this experience? It seems pointless maintaining them, so I suppose that there isn't much to do other than shutting the sites down?



 6:08 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have exactly the same problem. Any hints would be appreciated :)

Who do I need to contact to get rid of this problem?



 9:21 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

All internet traffic in China passes through the Great Firewall of China, controlled by the Chinese Government. This cmeans they can, and often do, block traffic to/from a particular Site, IP or IP Range, that may have content seemingly not in tune with Party Lines.

Your site may fall into that category or someone in your IP range may fall into that category affecting all of you in that range, and it would be very difficult to determine why. It may be something as simply as a single word that has plural meanings, one of which is quite innocent when applied to the site in question, another of which may be on the no-no list and so causing the trigger. Or it may be another site in your IP range publishing material that in China would be considered seditious, or ...

Last I was in China, many years ago, I remember not neing able to access a prominent site on a particular subject which, in hind sight, was way off topic in terms of Government etc. Neither I nor the site owner could figure out why at the time. Of course now I do understand what was happening, but the why still eludes me.

You might try swithing IP for the site in question and see if that lifts the ban. If it doesn't, then there is not much else you can do except perhaps tear you hair out trying to isolate the trigger. ;)



 12:36 am on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

You may want to check out this thread:

  • Way to check if a site is blocked? [webmasterworld.com]

    The links I posted in there are still valid, but the real-time filtering test doesn't seem to be operational any longer.

  • whatever2005

     11:43 am on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Woz explains the situation pretty well.
    Changing IP should be your first step.

    I ran into this before and asked my host to change the IP after which all was ok.

    If that doesn't help you many want to try an ip address outside of the range of your host, maybe even change host. It used to be that websites at yahoo small business hosting were having problems, not sure if that's still the case.

    Good luck


     3:50 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

    My apologies to the esteemed moderators for not checking back all the way for a discussion on this topic. I have also received a sticky suggesting that an entire C-class might have been banned, with ourselves as "beneficiaries".

    Checking if we can get a new IP for our server and also considering a friendly letter to the Chinese ambassador in Stockholm. After all, how many people in my country bother to provide 475 pages of top notch content in Chinese?


     2:45 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

    No problem rencke. ;)
    If you've invested that much time and effort into your site it would really be a shame to just drop it. Changing your IP may be the easiest solution, but actually bringing this issue up with the Ambassador might effect change in another way. I'd be interested to hear how this one works out for you.


     12:19 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Elegant letter in the mail. Will post results (if any) in this thread.


     12:36 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Yep, be very interesting to see if you get any traction through official channels. Might even be the start of something. Hmmm ...



     1:57 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

    I don't think it's a headache problem. As said, you can either change your content or IP address to fix the problem.
    Giving up means you would waste your time and money, it's not a smart decision.


     2:22 pm on Mar 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

    I once had a Chinese user on my forums claiming that his isp/country blocked access to our "World News" forum. Probably the combination of the world news and maybe some Chinese-related titles on that page causing the block.

    However, I always thought that this was partly being done by the isp's too, not just one big thing for the whole of China.


     4:41 am on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

    --- "none of our 3 sites .. ... have had any traffic from China since November."

    No Pun Intended. God, I wish I had this problem.


     2:10 am on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

    -- "none of our 3 sites .. ... have had any traffic from China since November."

    No Pun Intended. God, I wish I had this problem.

    I'm in the same boat as you. I work in higher education and we've had continual problems with students' access codes to research databases and other restricted access products being distributed on Chinese forums. At times it almost seems like we're providing free distance education with the amount of traffic coming from China.


     2:56 am on Mar 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

    In my neck of e-commerce 30% of good profits declared by competitors are reported due to customers from JAPAN.

    However: 'select ... like 218.0%' is simply 404, perhaps I am not big enough.

    We did a study time spent vs time worth paying for..
    NAAAA… 404

    For now :)


     10:10 am on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

    This happens very often when you are on a shared hosting service. The solution is pretty simple, get a unique IP and you'll be fine. If your creating a site that your putting a lot of money into it might be worth it be worth the 8$ a year.

    In my city there are around 500,000 to 1 million expatriates (people like me who are from say the US and live in China). Thats just one city in China.


    Looking back on the OP's message I'm guessing he has already purchased a unique IP number since his main traffic source is China. The OP should consider changing the pages which contain information on democracy and changing their IP again. When your doing business in China you just have to do it their way, hopefully this can change in the future.


     4:20 am on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Very much doubt a letter to the Ambassador would help. The telecom authority is a gigantic organization which probably don't answer to the ambassador.

    It is a cat and mouse game really. Better to focus on what you can do than trying to change the way things work.

    Make you website easily to port. For example standard directory naming convention, put configuration in one location. This way you can react quickly and move host.

    On the hosting side, try to pay monthly, get the dns under your control so you don't have to depend on someone or get held up.


     1:24 pm on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

    The telecom authority is a gigantic organization which probably don't answer to the ambassador.

    No, but they have the same boss, i.e. the government. But there is not much hope and for another reason. Sweden's foreign minister runs a very popular blogg and it just became known that his blogg is blocked too.

    It is not just one website affected by this. It is 32 all sharing the same IP. We cannot get individual IP:s for them - have tried. What's more, it is likely that they have blocked an entire C-class. Still, we might be getting a new IP for all in a couple of months.


     2:48 pm on Apr 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

    You do not need to get 32 IPs. Just one unblocked IP and the rest can share it.

    If you are blocked again perhaps something among your site is "under observation".


     2:48 am on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

    System: The following message was spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/asia_pacific_search_engines/3320799.htm [webmasterworld.com] by bill - 12:50 pm on April 25, 2007 (jst +9)

    My site is banned in all china search engines like baidu, sogou, cn.yahoo.com and www.google.com.cn.
    I search 'site:mysite.com' by those search engines, it return a dns error!

    I suspect I have some articles on the site have fell into their filter list.
    So, I am going to remove those articles and my question is:

    Any way to get back my site be listed in china search engines?


     3:51 am on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

    There is a new service available that lets you test whether your site is being blocked by China's firewall.

  • greatfirewallofchina.org [greatfirewallofchina.org]
  • rencke

     11:23 am on Apr 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Great find, bill!
    It is even worse than I expected. Fortunately one of our main competitors is blocked too.


     12:46 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

    What's been the reaction from your political contacts? That sounded like a unique and potentially effective way to approach this issue.


     10:44 am on Apr 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

    None so far. Not holding my breath. But if we do get a reply, you can safely expect me to relate it here. So far, I have found that the Swedish Institute, a foreign office agency, is blocked too along with Sweden's official tourist information site and the foreign minister's private blogg and one of the country's biggest newspapers.


     3:49 am on Apr 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

    If only as simple as cat and mouse!

    Found the greatfirewall reported one of my sites blocked, but it's listed in sogou results.

    Interesting lately, I think, that there's been some public fuss in China over ban on eight books: think I even read of someone high up in banning perhaps to lose job (tho whether this is real reason, would be hard to fathom). Indicates that no great uniformity.
    Maybe of interest, if passes our dear censors here at WW (!):

    Some time ago, a friend told me of censors aiming to block pornographic material (in print, was before the net). "Yellow" linked to porn, so story something like ban on Yellow Submarine.
    - seems daft, but didn't some "safe" searches in US halt access to info on breast cancer?

    It's some years since I was in Beijing and first noticed signs announcing "A more open China awaits the 2008 Olympics". Yet this year, reading of tighter censorship. TV stations told to show "ethically inspiring" programmes.

    So there you have it, webmasters wanting to avoid the Great Firewall: build ethically inspiring sites.
    But be ready should the goalposts shift next year, next month, or next week...


     6:48 am on Mar 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

    Probably it's an IP blocking, by moving to a new IP you should be able to solve the problem.

    If your site targets primarily Chinese visitors then you should consider having a dedicated IP, or altogether host within China. You can check <snip> it's a web hosting company in Shanghai.

    [edited by: bill at 8:33 am (utc) on Mar. 14, 2008]
    [edit reason] Sorry we don't allow hosting recommendations or blog links [/edit]

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