China has made a momentous decision to liberalize internet access within the planned Shanghai free-trade zone to websites seen as politically sensitive including Facebook, Twitter and the New York Times, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.
"In order to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free-trade zone, we must think about how we can make them feel at home," said one of the government sources who declined to be named due to the sensitive nature of the topic.
"If they can't get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China," the source said.
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The Hong Kong newspaper, quoting government sources on the condition of anonymity, said the free-trade zone, which is intended as a testing ground for new policies, will also welcome bids from foreign telecommunications companies for licenses to provide internet services.