Amazon's 3G Kindle leaps 'Great Firewall of China'

November 1, 2010
A 3G version of the Kindle e-reader, pictured in the hand of Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, is being snapped up on China's grey market as it has an extra special advantage for customers -- it automatically leaps the so-called "Great Firewall" of state web censorship.

Amazon's Kindle 3G e-reader is being snapped up on China's grey market as it has an extra special advantage for customers -- it automatically leaps the so-called "Great Firewall" of state web censorship.

Sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which are blocked by the Beijing authorities, can be accessed without interference by the Kindle's Internet browsing function, the South China Morning Post reported Monday.

Amazon says it is not able to ship the to mainland China or offer content in the country, which has the world's largest Internet community at more than 420 million web users, the Post reported.

But a seller in Beijing told the paper he slipped them into China a few at a time after having them delivered to an address outside the mainland. He has sold 300 in the past month.

AFP found dozens of Kindles available on web auction site Taobao, China's answer to eBay, with prices ranging from a special offer of 700 yuan (105 dollars) to 5,000 yuan.

Several Chinese bloggers are recommending the device, according to the paper, largely due to the fact it can "scale the wall automatically".

"I still can't believe it. I casually tried getting to , and what a surprise, I got there," the paper quoted a mainland blogger as saying.

"And then I quickly tried Facebook, and it perfectly presented itself. Am I dreaming? No, I pinched myself and it hurt."

The 3G Kindle uses global system mobile (GSM) communication technology, which gives WiFi coverage in more than 100 countries, including . The WiFi-only Kindle would rely on a local Internet connection.

Professor Lawrence Yeung Kwan, of the University of Hong Kong's electrical and electronic engineering department, told the paper that mainland Internet patrols might have overlooked the gadget.

"Every Kindle device is pre-registered to a personal account, so every user's information is clear," he said.

"In addition, Kindle has a book-buying focus, so the censors may think these connections are relatively safe."

The Kindle has its own network, called Amazon Whispernet, to provide wireless coverage via AT&T's 3G data network in the US and partner networks in the rest of the world.

A 3G wireless coverage map on Amazon's website includes numerous Chinese cities, suggesting its 3G link involves a Chinese carrier, the paper said.

Explore further: Amazon adding Twitter, Facebook to Kindle e-reader

Related Stories

Amazon adding Twitter, Facebook to Kindle e-reader

May 1, 2010

(AP) -- Inc.'s Kindle e-reader is getting access to Facebook and Twitter, along with several other enhancements, as part of a software update being sent wirelessly to the devices.

Amazon releasing Kindle software for Android

May 18, 2010

(AP) -- Inc. is hoping to snag even more customers for the electronic books it sells by releasing a version of its Kindle e-reader software for phones that use Google Inc.'s increasingly popular Android operating ... offers new lower-priced Kindle DX

July 1, 2010

(AP) -- Online retailer Inc. said Thursday it is introducing a new version of its higher-end Kindle at a lower price as competition among electronic-book readers intensifies.

Amazon says new Kindle a best seller

August 25, 2010 on Wednesday said the new generation Kindle electronic book reader is a best seller, with people snapping up the devices at a record pace.

Recommended for you

The ethics of robot love

November 25, 2015

There was to have been a conference in Malaysia last week called Love and Sex with Robots but it was cancelled. Malaysian police branded it "illegal" and "ridiculous". "There is nothing scientific about sex with robots," ...

Tandem solar cells are more efficient

November 23, 2015

Stacking two solar cells one over the other has advantages: Because the energy is "harvested" in two stages, and overall the sunlight can be converted to electricity more efficiently. Empa researchers have come up with a ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Nov 01, 2010
Now that you've told the authorities, the access should be shut down soon.
not rated yet Nov 01, 2010
Sad but true.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.