US cites Chinese Internet filters as trade barrier

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BEIJING (AP) — The American government has cited Chinese Internet controls as a trade barrier in a report that comes as Beijing tries to block its public from seeing news about the finances of Chinese leaders' families.

The U.S. Trade Representative says Chinese filters, which block access to websites including the Google search engine and social media such as Twitter, are a "significant burden" on businesses.

It gives no indication Washington plans to take action but highlights complaints Beijing's controls hamper access to its populous Internet market and disrupt operations for foreign companies.

This week, Chinese censors have tried to block Internet users from seeing news reports about documents from a law firm in Panama that say relatives of political figures including President Xi Jinping own offshore companies.