A Chinese Twitter user has discovered an alternate server that provides access to the mobile Web version of the website from within China, where it is officially blocked by the government, reports Penn-Olson.
Twitter has been blocked in China since June 2009 and the micro-blogging market in the country is dominated by Sina and Tencent whose Weibo (meaning ‘microblog’ in Chinese) services have a combined 300 million registered users between them. Chinese residents who’ve wanted to use Twitter have so far had to use proxies, VPNs and other similar hacks to get around the Great Firewall.
But those users can now point their browsers to an alternate server to get access to the website. When visiting it, you are prompted with a certificate warning which says that it has been issued to “mobile.twitter.com”. If you continue past it, you get to the mobile version of Twitter’s website, having bypassed the government’s restrictions without using any proxies or VPNs.
Twitter began serving localised versions of its website in Traditional and Simplified Chinese on Wednesday, ostensibly to cater to Chinese people residing outside the country. We cannot be sure whether this is a deliberate attempt by the company to get around China’s restrictions, but it certainly doesn’t seem like it.
Whatever it is, it’s unlikely to last for very long, so Chinese Twitter users would be well advised to make hay while the sun shines.