I spend a lot of time talking about how China is now a part of the world, leading the way in key areas such as IPR and the environment, and generally racing to modernity and beyond. But there is one daily hassle that I face that is truly reflective of how backward China remains in some ways. It is email.
When I download my emails in China, I find at least once a day that the download is terminated, and I have to go onto the mail server via a web page to delete the email which is blocking the queue. Once I have deleted it, the rest of the emails flow in.
When I am anywhere other than China, this never, ever happens. So it is not a spam related issue, it is totally the result of the keyword filters which the Chinese government has placed on all the mainland’s Internet gateways.
I get a lot of emails containing China news-related content. I plead guilty to this charge. But as a businessman, I have to point out that this email filtering process is wasting a lot of my time. For myself and every other business person who spends any time at all fiddling with emails on their mail server to remove the blockage in the pipe put in place by the responsibly officials in the relevant departments, I have to say: enough. Get real. I can read the emails anyway on the mail server.
To paraphrase Moses: Let me emails go!