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There is only one place in China where your vacation Instagram posts will have a 100% shot of going through: the resort island of Hainan off the mainland’s southern coast.
In its effort to establish itself as a world-class tropical destination — what some have dubbed “China’s Hawaii” — the island’s provincial government is planning to allow foreign tourists to access internet sites that are otherwise restricted on the mainland.
According to the three-year launch plan, foreign visitors to Hainan will be able to fully access social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube, as well as other sites in the island’s two biggest cities of Haikou and Sanya. Full access to the sites will be allowed in “places where tourists gather,” the plan vaguely states.
China is well-known for restricting its citizens’ access to the internet. The government’s online censorship, or so-called “Great Firewall,” blocks full access to social networks, foreign media sites and even Google search results.
It isn’t clear if the plan has China’s national government’s approval yet. But, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been a part of the effort to draw global tourists to Hainan. Earlier this year, his administrationto the tropical destination, bringing the total number of nations who can visit the island visa-free to 59.