During a trip to China you might just find yourself in a digital detox but not by choice. Some of the world’s most popular apps and platforms are completely blocked. Facebook, Google, YouTube, Yahoo, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit. And it’s not just social media platforms and user generated videos. China’s internet restrictions are some of the most sophisticated in the world. Its far-reaching system not only blocks social media sites and search engines but routinely blocks news websites too. Apple’s iBooks and iTunes movie offerings have also been shut down. But LinkedIn is allowed. Why? Some experts say it’s because connecting China’s workforce with the world can only help Chinese companies. After all, they need to find foreign partners to import, export, and even recruit foreign talent. Plus political discourse doesn’t typically take place on LinkedIn and the company openly plays by the rules in China. Even creating a simplified Chinese version of its platform. Restrictions in China are not loosening up as the world becomes more interconnected online. In fact, they’re likely to get even tighter for the country’s 730 million internet users. China’s President Xi Jinping recently issued tighter rules for online news portals and network providers. Through China’s Cyberspace Administration, the government is overhauling its internet regulations for the first time in over a decade with new mandates. For example, you’ll need to obtain a license just to have something like your own website, an app, forum, blog, microblog or internet broadcast. Now, earlier this year, China’s president said thatprotectionismis like “locking oneself in a dark room.” He said this in an effort to push Chinese leadership on global trade. But when it comes to internet access in China, that’s pretty much what’s happening to a user… locking oneself in a dark room. Sort of. China’s internet is more like anintranet –a private network connected within an enterprise.In fact, an estimated 96% of online traffic in China goes to Chinese servers. But in its effort to block outsiders — many of China’s homegrown companies are actually benefiting quite well. Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba are not just some ofChina’sbiggest internet enterprises. They’re some of the biggest in theworld. By blocking international rivals like Google, Facebook and Amazon from the market, the world’s most populous country is discouraging competition and therefore helping its own companies. And more and more people continue to log on in China. Last year, the number of Chinese internet users increased at the fastest pace in several years. 43 million new internet users came online in China last year. That’s more than the entire populations of Canada and Costa Rica combined. Now of course many people access the internet anyway through virtual private networks or VPN. But China is cracking down, recently threatening to stop illegal internet activity, and some local governments warn they’ll impose heavy fines and are announcing vague forms of punishment for breaking the law. China has also introduced a new law requiring both domestic and foreign internet companies to practice censorship, register names of users, and even aid in government surveillance. But China isn’t just censoring the internet to prevent Western influences from sweeping through its country, but also, to improve its own image. The government says its initiatives will improve positive propaganda and even strengthen supervision over public opinion. So if you’re connected online in China there’s really no way of telling just how vast your experience is being filtered.