Eileen Gu said VPN is free in China. Your message has been blocked.

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Controversy has raged around US-born skier Eileen Gu ever since she said she would be competing at the Olympics as a member of the Chinese team and not for the US, and all this chatter only got louder after her won a gold medal Tuesday. Amid the internet excitement about her citizenship and identity, a comment she made to defend China’s internet freedom backfired.

While state media and the general public raved about their mastery and loyalty to China, their denial of the lived reality of 1.4 billion Chinese sparked heated debates.

“Why can you use Instagram and millions of mainland Chinese can’t?” one Instagram user fired at Gu in Instagram comments she made ahead of her competition in the women’s Freeski Big Air. “Why you as a Chinese citizen received such special treatment. That’s not fair, can you stand up for the millions of Chinese who don’t have internet freedom?[?]”

Instagram blocked in China, along with other international social…



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