Chinese regulators have now disallowed link blocking, allowing the free flow of traffic between rival platforms including Alibaba and Tencent. Humphrey Ho, managing director of Hylink Digital, says this is a dramatic power shift from the hands of tech giants into the hands of consumers and advertisers.
Link blocking has long sculpted the traffic of China’s 989 million internet users (CNBC, 2021) into a network of walled gardens, where a few dominant tech giants control ubiquitous, yet insulated, sections of the internet. Rival payment functions and e-commerce, social or content-sharing apps were readily stifled by link blocking, preventing the flow of traffic between sites.
Read Humphrey Ho’s full opinion at The Drum here.