Tuber to give Chinese users access to long-banned websites
A new Chinese mobile browser called Tuber was launched in October 2020. What is special about Tuber is that it lets Chinese users access Google, YouTube, Twitter and other services that have been banned in the country — selectively.
Using the app, however, comes with liabilities. Registration requires a Chinese phone number, which is tied to a person’s real identity. According to Tuber’s terms of service, the platform can suspend users’ accounts and share their data “with the relevant authorities” if the users “actively watch or share” content that breaches the constitution, endangers national security and sovereignty, spreads rumors, disrupts social orders or violates other local laws.
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The mobile browser debuted on China’s third-party Android stores a few days ago, with an iOS launch in the pipeline. Within two days, Tuber attracted over 5 million downloads just on Huawei’s Android app store.
Google Chrome is the most popular browser in China
Internet users in China cannot use the Google search engine without a VPN, yet Chrome is the most popular browser in the country.
Across both desktops and smartphones, Chrome has 36 to 39 percent of the browser market this year, Baidu analytics shows. In one month, it beat its closest rivals – Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Tencent Holdings’ QQ Browser – by more than 28 percentage points.
- The most recent data from CNCERT, China’s national computer emergency response body, shows a similar story. Chrome occupied 30 percent of China’s mobile browser market in the third quarter of 2019.
- Google’s search engine has been blocked in the country since 2010, when Google stopped censoring search results. The Chinese government blocked nearly all of Google’s services, including the Google Play app store.
Analysts say that people in China choose Google Chrome basically because it’s fast and user-friendly. Google’s former senior vice president for advertising and commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy told earlier about his new search engine Neeva which is set to become a direct competitor to Google.