China blocks Dropbox cloud storage service

Dropbox, a popular cloud storage service, has been blocked by China this week.

According to several users on the Dropbox forums, the block began on Monday with no explanation from the Chinese government. Despite having 298 Million Internet users the country continues to block social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Dropbox appears to be the latest victim in a long line of companies whose services are blocked without explanation in China.

Dropbox gives users 2GB of free cloud storage space, with extra space available for a fee. Users can also gain up to 8GB of additional free space by referring other people to the service. When you load Dropbox onto a computer or mobile device, the data you put in it will be synced across all locations, in addition to the Dropbox servers. This makes it an ideal situation for backing up important data, and keeping yourself organized across multiple locations. Should a user accidentally delete or overwrite a file, it can still be retrieved within 30 days via the Dropbox website.

China also attempted to impose further restrictions on the way its people use their computers by trying to pass legislation which would have required all personal computers sold within the country, to be shipped with software blocking access to certain websites. Fortunately the software, Green Dam Youth Escort, is only required on schools, internet cafes and other public use computers.

Dropbox users can also sync files between PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

To give Dropbox a try, click here (this referral link gives you an extra 250MB on top of the 2GB).

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35 Comments

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I would think it has something to do with the fact that dropbox users can share information with other dropbox users. You can share your information quite easily.

I live in Shanghai and dropbox public files feature is blocked since months, that's not news, now they also blocked the website and that's the news, i still use it daily to sync files across several PCs, some are also outside China and there's no issue. So actually the sync works and i use a proxy to access the website...

Back on topic please!

What particular feature of Dropbox the does the Chinese government fear?
It would be nice to hear the rationale for this latest ban.

Personally, I could not live without Dropbox, these days.

Shiranui said,
Back on topic please!

What particular feature of Dropbox the does the Chinese government fear?
It would be nice to hear the rationale for this latest ban.

Personally, I could not live without Dropbox, these days.

This. I can see why China might block sites like Facebook or Twitter from time to time. I obviously wholeheartedly disagree with it, but I see why they do it - such sites can be used to "organize" and can promote political discourse.

Dropbox I don't get though. How is allowing syncing of files between an individual's computers a threat?

MiniVegeta04 said,

This. I can see why China might block sites like Facebook or Twitter from time to time. I obviously wholeheartedly disagree with it, but I see why they do it - such sites can be used to "organize" and can promote political discourse.

Dropbox I don't get though. How is allowing syncing of files between an individual's computers a threat?

Is it possible to use the site to share files? If so then that is where the "threat" came from.

Wow, I just saw the comment about the referral link @ the bottom (not cool to post) and now it's gone.

LAD said,
Wow, I just saw the comment about the referral link @ the bottom (not cool to post) and now it's gone.

Glad I didn't click that now...

Tom W said,

It clearly states it's a referral link. Would you prefer it in red and bold?

Actually, I prefer it to be my referral link instead of yours, so I can get the bonus space. Is that ok? Of course, you can leave the disclaimer saying that it's my referral link.

Edited by LAD, May 11 2010, 10:15pm :

Tom W said,

It clearly states it's a referral link. Would you prefer it in red and bold?

Yes, I would.

Is it an official link from Dropbox giving Neowin users an extra 250MB? Or is it an individual's invite link that also gives that user extra benefits for signing users on? I have no issue with the former, and would in fact support it if I didn't already have a Dropbox account, but if it's the latter then I think it's just irresponsible referral whoring by the poster, and should be labeled as such.

LAD said,
Wow, I just saw the comment about the referral link @ the bottom (not cool to post) and now it's gone.

Not the first time he's done it either. Shame to see a staff member doing that...

Murkey said,

Yes, I would.

Is it an official link from Dropbox giving Neowin users an extra 250MB? Or is it an individual's invite link that also gives that user extra benefits for signing users on? I have no issue with the former, and would in fact support it if I didn't already have a Dropbox account, but if it's the latter then I think it's just irresponsible referral whoring by the poster, and should be labeled as such.


The referral link is for our Neowin dropbox account which is used by our graphics guys team to store and share PSDs for work on new themes. You can moan and bitch that it's a referral link but we've clearly stated it is. If you don't like it then don't click on it. Simple.

Murkey said,

Yes, I would.

Is it an official link from Dropbox giving Neowin users an extra 250MB? Or is it an individual's invite link that also gives that user extra benefits for signing users on? I have no issue with the former, and would in fact support it if I didn't already have a Dropbox account, but if it's the latter then I think it's just irresponsible referral whoring by the poster, and should be labeled as such.

Clicking gives the link owner 250Mb too. I would personally prefer it to link to Dropbox.com rather than a referral...

Tom W said,

The referral link is for our Neowin dropbox account which is used by our graphics guys team to store and share PSDs for work on new themes.

Then label it as such and ask for support. Not explaining and then cloaking it in the URL shortening service just looks like you're trying to deceive your users.

Murkey said,

Then label it as such and ask for support. Not explaining and then cloaking it in the URL shortening service just looks like you're trying to deceive your users.


Again, it CLEARLY states it's a referral link. The shortening service is used as we can track the URL individually. There's no deceit here, not sure what your problem is.

Good god. What is up with people finding the slightest thing to bitch about? If you don't like it, don't click it and get over it. Plain and simple.

virtorio said,
Wow, some people sure like to bitch about things that effect them negatively is no way at all.

Yeah, sad isn't it? Not to mention how active they are in Neowin and they just want something for themselves and not giving something back

Edited by :: Lyon ::, May 11 2010, 10:22pm :

:: Lyon :: said,

Yeah, sad isn't it? Not to mention how active they are in Neowin and they just want something for themselves and not giving something back

Thats a very cynical view to take

My issue is not with it being a referral link - I am just surprised that it wasn't just a direct link to Dropbox.

But yes, I admit it is quite an asinine point to complain about. If it was made clear that it was a Neowin referral link, that adds space to an account collectively used by Neowin staffers then fair play - but at the moment it does look like it is a referral link belonging to the author in my opinion.

Tom W said,

It clearly states it's a referral link. Would you prefer it in red and bold?

I don't think it should be a cloaked url

I can't believe people are really complaining about this. Who is being hurt by us using a referral link? If you sign up, you get extra space and we get extra space. Both parties win.

Tom W said,

The referral link is for our Neowin dropbox account which is used by our graphics guys team to store and share PSDs for work on new themes. You can moan and bitch that it's a referral link but we've clearly stated it is. If you don't like it then don't click on it. Simple.

I think a lot of people bash the referral links because they have been brainwashed by the slickdeal/fatwallet type of websites where they don't allow referal links because the website owner is greedy and wants the links for himself.

Personally I have no problem with referal links at all, on any website.

Duality said,

Thats a very cynical view to take

My issue is not with it being a referral link - I am just surprised that it wasn't just a direct link to Dropbox.

But yes, I admit it is quite an asinine point to complain about. If it was made clear that it was a Neowin referral link, that adds space to an account collectively used by Neowin staffers then fair play - but at the moment it does look like it is a referral link belonging to the author in my opinion.

+1

It should state : To give Dropbox a try, click here (this referral link gives you, and gives Neowin, an extra 250MB on top of the 2GB).

Edited by ilev, May 12 2010, 5:26am :

virtorio said,
Wow, some people sure like to bitch about things that effect them negatively is no way at all.

Technically a person could have promised to give away his referral privilege to another friend, and didn't realize he would lose his one and only referral by clicking on that link. So it's possible that someone could be negatively affected by the loss of that privilege.