Cloud zone draws scrutiny in China

The city of Chongqing, China is constructing a cloud development zone which will offer uncensored Internet access. The catch – it will only be available to foreign businesses, not locals.

The Cloud Computing Special Zone will house multiple data centers that the city hopes will attract businesses to set up shop there.

The plan has left some locals angry. China is known for its Internet censorship techniques. The Chongqing Economic and Information Technology Commission declined to comment for a story in Computer World.

“The Chinese government is marketing an uncensored, unfiltered Internet connection as a selling point, while they so blatantly and purposely deny that right to the vast majority of their citizens,” said Phelim Kine, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, in an interview with Computer World.

According to the Asia Cloud Forum, the city has set aside 10 square kilometers for the project. The first phase of the plan is expected to cost about $150 million and includes the build-out of the data centers.

No word on how much the city believes it can make off of the project.

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