(CNN) -- Whether you're a domestic company or an international business, failure to comply with China's strict Internet regulations risks having your online presence curtailed or shut down completely.
This means being subjected to the so-called "Great Firewall of China," where websites, from newspaper portals to micro-blogging services, come under intense scrutiny from government censors who prohibit topics deemed unsuitable.
"Bottom line is that there's a list of topics that domestic and international media based in China doesn't allow discussions on," said Doug Young, journalism professor at Fudan University in Shanghai and author of "The Party Line: How The Media Dictates Public Opinion in Modern China."
Some of the most high-profile international Internet brands such Facebook and Twitter are blocked within China, and have been since massive protests in the country's North-Western province Xinjiang in 2009, when protesters used Facebook to organize demonstrations.
2012: Fighting the great firewall
YouTube, which is owned by Google, was also blocked in 2009. It was speculated that the ban was caused by a video of Tibetans getting beaten up in connection with riots that took place in the province the year before, CNN reported at the time.
Other companies, such as the search engine Yahoo!, have instead opted to co-operate with the authorities in order to stay on the local market. Yahoo! and several other tech companies came under fire in the U.S. in 2006 for providing the Chinese authorities with information about their users.
Culled from CNN