Recently, a company based in China contacted
me about advertising on RF Cafe. After doing a lot of up-front work for them creating
advertising materials (Highlighted Ad, 160x600-px banner
graphic, etc.), the representative informed me that he cannot access the
RFCafe.com domain from his location. It is really difficult to conduct business
when the customer cannot review your work, so at least for now, I am going to pass
on the opportunity. The obvious question that arises from the experience is whether
RFCafe.com is being blocked by China, and how do I find out?
Fortunately, a few options exist with websites that will perform the check for
you by pinging your URL from servers within multiple countries. Some, such as
CompariTech), tests from inside China using servers in Beijing,
Shenzhen, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang Province, and Yunnan Province. RFCafe.com
looks good from China according to this service, so I wonder why the aforementioned
China-based company cannot reach RFCafe.com?
Wanting to try at least one other domain resolution service to make certain access
from China was possible, I used CA Technologies' "App Synthetic Monitor."
It tests from numerous countries. The free version checks from servers in China,
the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Switzerland, and the U.S. RFCafe.com
looks good from all locations. There is a subscription service that monitors access
status from up to 48
For kicks, I typed in a few domains into GreatFirewallOfChina.com to see who
might be blocked. News websites are the best candidates for trial since China is
known to block sources considered generally unfavorable to their policies. FoxNews.com
is blocked - no surprise there. NYTimes.com is also blocked, as is WSJ.com
(Wall Street Journal). Those having access include
CBSNews.com, CNN.com, DrudgeReport.com (very surprised),
HuffingtonPost.com, NBCNews.com, and NPR.org. Testing some U.S. government websites
produced varied results. WhiteHouse.gov is banned, along with FCC.gov and CIA.gov
(LOL). NIST.gov, FBI.gov, NASA.gov, ESA.int,
and DHS.gov are allowed. Go figure.
Update: No change in status of any of the websites as of May
If your company markets products and/or services to countries outside your homeland,
you should test access occasionally to make sure you are not being blocked. If you
are blocked, I have no idea what to do about it, but at least you will know.
Posted June 18, 2016