Fang Binxing (born July 1960 in Harbin, China) was the Principal of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. He is a Chinese Communist Party Member. He is also known for his substantial contribution to China's Internet censorship infrastructure, and has been dubbed "Father of China's Great Fire Wall".
Fang went to university at Harbin Institute of Technology, where he earned a PhD in computer science and became a lecturer. He began working at the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team / Coordination Center of China in 1999 as deputy chief engineer; from 2000 he was chief engineer and director. It was in this position that he oversaw the development of the filtering and blocking technology that has become known as the Great Firewall, officially known as the 'Golden Shield'.
Fang has defended the Great Firewall in the media, stating that it is a "natural reaction to something newborn and unknown" and that such web censoring is a "common phenomenon around the world". Appearing on China Central Television in March 2010, Fang accused Google of conducting censorship such as Chilling Effects.
2011 shoe throwing incident
On 19 May 2011, Fang was hit on the chest by a shoe thrown at him by a Huazhong University of Science and Technology student who calls herself "hanjunyi" (Chinese:寒君依, or 小湖北) while Fang was giving a lecture at Wuhan University. According to RFI, the student discussed the planned shoe attack on Twitter, and with the help of other bloggers, was able to locate the exact whereabouts and the time of Fang's lecture. After the shoe throwing incident, "Hanjunyi" was able to walk out while other students were trying to obstruct school teachers who were going to detain her. "Hanjunyi" had since become an instant internet hero of the Chinese blogosphere, with bloggers offering her a large number of presents, such as cash, airline tickets, buffet dinners at Hong Kong five-star hotels, tours of various sex parlors, sight-seeing tours, a virtual private network, iPad2, admission ticket to Hong Kong Disneyland, escorted tour of Singapore, free hotel rooms, free sex with admiring female bloggers, free shoes and designer clothes. An anonymous blogger even promised her a position in his company if ever "Hanjunyi" is in trouble with the authorities.
During an interview with CNN, "Hanjunyi" said:"I'm not happy about what he (Fang) does. His work made me spend unnecessary money to get access to the website that is supposed to be free...He makes my online surfing very inconvenient."
2016 VPN incident
In April 2016, he was forced to use a VPN to bypass his own creation in a lecture this week on internet safety. Fang Binxing was speaking at his old university, the Harbin Institute of Technology in Heilongjiang, China, when he attempted to access webpages hosted in South Korea as a way to illustrate a point about internet sovereignty. The projected image from his laptop came up "Page not found" – a common occurrence for Chinese internet users who live behind the censorship apparatus built by Binxing and run by the Chinese government.
To the audience's amazement, Binxing then tried to bypass the firewall using a VPN installed on his computer – the same tool secretly installed by millions of Chinese to get around censorship efforts, but whose use is heavily frowned upon by officials. As his compatriots looked on, Binxing then had the equally frustrating experience of dealing with a slow and unstable connection to the outside world, with the link falling over twice as he tried to access Facebook and Google.
- "Great Firewall father speaks out". Global Times. 18 February 2011. Archived from the original on 25 February 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2011.)
- http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/fang-binxing/ ‘Father’ of China's Great Firewall Shouted Off Own Microblog
- "'Father' of China's Great Firewall Shouted Off Own Microblog – China Real Time Report – WSJ". Wall Street Journal. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
- "防火墙之父"北邮校长方滨兴微博遭网民"围攻" (in Chinese). Yunnan Information Times. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- CCTV Video 别了，麻烦谷歌（23 March 2010）
- "China's Great Firewall designer 'hit by shoe". BBC. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- "GFW之父武汉大学演讲遭遇学生扔鞋抗议" (in Chinese). RTI. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- "Designer of Chinese web controls hit by shoe". Associated Press. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- "Chinese Student Takes Aim, Literally, at Internet Regulator". Nytimes. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- 微博热点：方滨兴武汉大学遇"扔鞋"抗议？. Yunnan Information Times (in Chinese). 19 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j8tohFUmhv3P-HvuaY64AFNcz2DA?docId=CNG.d3d11f5391ecef13ea0a591708a328de.651 Shoe attack on China web censor sparks online buzz (AFP)
- http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/05/20/china.fire.wall.protest/index.html Chinese student says he hurled shoe at Web regulator, sparks Web buzz By Helena Hong and Jaime FlorCruz, CNN
- China's Great Firewall inventor forced to use VPN live on stage to dodge his own creation
- The Great Firewall of China blocks its architect Fang Binxing