Trump ‘will tweet what he wants’ inside China’s Great Firewall

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, center, are greeted as they arrive on Air Force One in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)
Updated 08 November 2017
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Trump ‘will tweet what he wants’ inside China’s Great Firewall

BEIJING: President Donald Trump will not curtail his notorious Twitter missives during his visit to China even though the social media platform is blocked by a “Great Firewall,” a US official said Wednesday.
“The president will tweet whatever he wants,” the senior White House official told reporters aboard Air Force One shortly before Trump landed in Beijing.
“That’s his way of communicating directly with the American people. Why not? So long as he can access his Twitter account, because Twitter is banned in China along with Facebook and most of the other social media.”
The official assured, “I’m sure we’ve got the gear aboard this airplane to make it happen.”
China monitors people’s Internet habits and blocks websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google in the name of “protecting national security.”
Chinese nationals can face fines or even jail time for unfavorable social media posts. Authorities have further tightened Internet controls in recent months, shutting down celebrity gossip blogs and probing platforms for “obscenity.”
Web users can circumvent the firewall if they download a virtual private network (VPN) — software that allows people to surf the Internet as if they were using a server in another country.
Foreign visitors can also access banned websites with their phones if they are in roaming mode — but only because the authorities currently allow it, according to experts.
Weibo, a Twitter-like Chinese social media platform, was ablaze Wednesday with comments about what Trump would do without his most cherished form of communication.
Since Trump’s election in 2016, critics among Chinese Internet users have mockingly described American governance as “rule by Twitter.”
Some commenters feigned ignorance about the verboten site.
“Fake news. What’s Twitter? This website doesn’t exist,” one quipped.
Others appeared to be asking for explanations about Twitter in earnest, while still others called on Trump to create a Weibo account.
“In the three days that Trump’s off Twitter, someone else will surely seize the throne,” commented a user on Zhihu, a question-and-answer platform akin to Quora.


Sky adds TV subscribers as bid battle intensifies

Updated 19 April 2018
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Sky adds TV subscribers as bid battle intensifies

LONDON: Sky, the pan-European TV giant, said Thursday that it had added 38,000 customers in its third quarter as a takeover battle for the group intensified.
Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is hoping to buy the 61 percent of Sky it does not own but the long-running battle has been held up by competition concerns over media plurality and broadcasting standards in Britain.
Amid the delay, US cable giant Comcast has offered more than £22 billion for all of Sky, trumping Fox’s bid on a price-per-share basis.
In a further twist, Disney is hoping to buy Fox for $52.4 billion — a deal that would see British government concerns over Murdoch’s far-reaching media control in Britain fall away.
Awaiting developments in the takeover saga, Sky on Thursday added that its revenue climbed 5.0 percent to £10.14 billion in the first nine months of its 2017-18 financial year that runs to the end of June.
“In media terms, Sky is currently the belle of the ball, attracting overseas suitors aplenty. This update is another vindication of the interest being shown,” noted Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.
Earlier this month, 21st Century Fox proposed selling rolling TV channel Sky News to Disney in order to finally seal control of Sky.
Nearly 18 months ago, 21st Century Fox bid £11.4 billion for the part of Sky it is yet to own.
The Fox bid, pitched at £10.75 per Sky share, is significantly lower than the Comcast offer of £12.50.
But earlier this year, Britain’s Competitions and Markets Authority provisionally ruled that Murdoch’s planned takeover was not in the public interest and that a deal would hand him too much power in swaying public opinion.
Murdoch owns also major British newspaper titles The Times and The Sun.
To counter the regulatory obstacle, 21st Century Fox has proposed to sell Sky News to Disney even if the latter does not buy Fox.
Another option put up by Fox is to ring-fence Sky News.