Though banned in China since 2009, micro-blogging website Twitter has estimated that it has nearly 10 million Chinese users, a media report said on Wednesday.
Ten million represents a mere drop of Twitter’s 310 million total active users, of which 65 million are in the US, with the remaining 245 million overseas, technology website Tech Crunch reported.
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“That number itself is an estimate, one that is used internally because even Twitter isn’t fully sure. That’s because it is hugely challenging to tally up China-based users by virtue of them connecting to the service via virtual private network (VPN) software which allows them to use an internet connection outside of China, thus bypassing the country’s web censorship system,” the report added.
A China-based user accessing Twitter on a VPN will show up as being located in the US, Britain, Singapore or wherever else their VPN is set to.
It is highly unlikely that Twitter will take the steps that might get it unblocked in China that would mean caving in to censorship demands and self-policing user content, like LinkedIn has done, the report added.