“One country, two systems.” This is the story of China and Hongkong until 2047. The differences between the two however are beyond economic and political structures. While China is considered to be an Internet enemy with netcops censoring access to the Internet, Hongkong is known to be a thriving hub of free information especially with the recent announcement of Google that it would be routing its users to an uncensored version of the internet search engine based in Hong Kong.
Such disparity as regards access to information between the People’s Republic of China and the Hongkong Special Administrative Region is also the reason behind the increasing number of students that have been leaving mainland China in order to study in Hongkong instead.
A student from Shanghai explains the reality that students who can afford to get away from “China’s great firewall” would do so in a heartbeat. This does not mean however that they love their country any less but in terms of priorities, unbridled access to information as a means to pursue their studies is also very important. He further explains that while in Shanghai, he still has to use special software to access blacklisted sites like Twitter or the uncensored version of Google, in Hong Kong, he is even taught to utilize the same sites for research. An analyst from the Hongkong University also predicts that China’s ensuing restrictions on the Internet could very well lead to a brain drain, as seen in the influx of students from mainland China to Hongkong. The question now is whether China would succumb to such pressure enough to reconsider its policies on Internet censorship.