Chinese Web Users Plan Tech Workarounds

For Google Inc. (GOOG) users in China, the big question isn’t whether the Internet giant retreats from China, but if Beijing retaliates by blocking Google’s international search site.

If Beijing decides to put the site on the other side of the “Great Firewall,” as the country’s system of Internet controls is informally known, college student Shi Yuchen has a workaround already planned. She’ll simply fanqiang, or “scale the wall.”

“No matter what, I will continue to use [Google] by applying some ‘scaling the wall’ tools,” Ms. Shi says.

To help people like Ms. Shi, a small but influential number of tech-savvy Chinese have been schooling their fellow citizens on how to gain access to blocked sites.

A search for the term fanqiang on Google or Baidu Inc., China’s largest search engine, turns up dozens of Web sites with instructions on how to get around the country’s Internet restrictions.

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