This space holds helpful information
that Dr. Hain has discovered by trial and error. Perhaps if enough of us do this,
searches on these devices or companies will bring up more relevant information.
China and doing business in the USA from China using the Internet -- as of 2015.
China is a wonderful place to visit but it is very difficult to do business there due to fierce censorship as well as just blatently unfriendly/nationalistic regulation and pricing. Practically, it is nearly impossible to do much useful with your US business from China. A reason not to visit China.
Many of the most useful internet sites in the US are blocked or unreasonably priced in China. This includes everything related to google (i.e. gmail, android, google play download of apps), as well as most cloud storage services (e.g. Dropbox), and smartphones. Oddly enough, even Yahoo-finance is blocked in China (why would they care ?) Our guess is that censorship is accomplished mainly through automatic firewalls that look for keywords in packets, and slow down or block protocols that are encrypted (i.e. VPN). However it is done, it really works -- the internet is close to useless in China for someone from the US.
China has succeeded in making itself very unfriendly to non-chinese nationals. Good job China.
- VPN is one way to get around this, but it is very tenuous, especially over a hotel wireless network. It is our understanding that China is pretty good at knocking down VPN.
- Dropbox is dead in China. Anything to do with US based cloud storage or VPN is very slow.
- Data on your telephone will probably be something you want to avoid as China telecom firms (like most countries) gouge tourists. It is foolish to try to use your phone in China. Apple phones work better in China than Android phones, because of China policies towards google devices. It is difficult to use local SIM cards as there are all sorts of issues with the language, phone locking and funky dialing protocols.
Our suggestions for keeping as much as possible in touch with your business in the US from China are as follows. You do this BEFORE you leave
gmail -- forward to yahoo (or hotmail).
- Before you leave, forward your gmail to a China approved email (Yahoo). This works very well but note that Yahoo censors search results in China. Searches are blocked.
- Also export your contacts from gmail (all of them) to a csv file. This is very important should you want to communicate with anyone.
dropbox -- forward to onedrive
- Microsoft offers 15 gigabytes of storage for free. The name keeps changing - -it is now "onedrive" (formerly windows skydrive, and windows live).
- Sign up for onedrive.
- Sync the critical parts of dropbox to onedrive. This puts it into the cloud. Whatever microsoft means by "sync" doesn't seem to be the same thing that dropbox means by sync, so be careful here. Do not assume that when you change a local copy, it will also change a dropbox folder too. In other words, you cannot "hook together" two clouds.
- Install a local onedrive application on your PC, and make it sync onedrive to local storage. See above.
Download whatever apps to your android phone that you need from google-play BEFORE you leave.
- The Yahoo mail application is an obvious one. If you can use the hotel wifi -- you can check your email.
May 8, 2021
, Timothy C. Hain, M.D.
All rights reserved.