Thanks to the infamous Great Firewall, Chinese companies are licensed to build services of all kinds comparable to Western companies, from Facebook to Google to Office.
According to the report from MIT Technology Review (Opens in a new tab)China’s response to GitHub, called Gitee, is suspected by developers censoring open source code, perhaps at the direction of the government.
At the beginning of May 2022, Chinese developers noticed that the open source code was blocked until the review was done. This was going to be the standard. Gitee statement (Opens in a new tab) In effect, the service says “there was no choice.”
Gitee code review
The exact reason for the migration is unknown, but many suspect that the Chinese government has decided to expand online censorship more broadly to include code that developers need to work on.
“Code review at OSS is about improving code quality and building trust among developers,” said Han Xiao, who runs Jina AI, a Berlin-based developer. MIT.. “Adding politics to code reviews will hurt both and eventually retreat China’s open source movement.”
Almost every aspect of China’s online life is carefully monitored and controlled by authorities seeking to quell political resistance. Some areas, such as open source development, remained free until recently.
according to One quote (Opens in a new tab)GitHub, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2018, had 7.3 million users in China in 2021 and the largest number of users outside the United States. Overall, GitHub has about 73 million users.
Sanctions make water muddy
A clear insight into the Chinese government’s thinking is impossible for outsiders. However, US sanctions on Huawei and other Chinese companies in 2019 may have created conditions for tightening the blockade of external services.
Prior to these sanctions, China was quite welcoming open source software and tools. Tencent and Alibaba released their own open source tools, and Gitee was created shortly thereafter.service To tell (Opens in a new tab) It has about 8 million users.
The motives are controversial, but the impact is dramatic. The change on May 18 meant that developers suddenly lost a lot of code. The developers weren’t warned and didn’t have time to develop an emergency response plan.
One developer who spoke to MIT Cumbersome manual reviews have helped me get back many projects, but certainly not enough bandwidth to do that in all cases.
Watch the video here: China’s response to GitHub has been blamed for censorship