Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Technology
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 30, 04, 1:31 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 11
Laptops and Communists: Is it safe to bring files into China?

I'm going to China on a trip that will involve both backroading and work. My laptop is generally essential equipment, but I'm worried about carrying personal files into China. Most everything I have is benign, but I have worked in Washington and other sensitive locales and might have some old notes that could read a little strange to a foreign security officer.

Wondering if any of you have experience with this.
Jayou360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 30, 04, 1:43 am   #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Brussels, EU
Posts: 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayou360
I'm going to China on a trip that will involve both backroading and work. My laptop is generally essential equipment, but I'm worried about carrying personal files into China. Most everything I have is benign, but I have worked in Washington and other sensitive locales and might have some old notes that could read a little strange to a foreign security officer.

Wondering if any of you have experience with this.
You really shouldn't have any problems, as long as your visa is in order and you treat the officials with "proper" respect. You might want to get all the porn off your laptop, though.
Aspirapolvere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 30, 04, 5:16 am   #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,027
I travel a lot and on a diplomatic passport. So far it has happened three times that Chinese customs have disappeared in a little room with my laptop for about 10 minutes before giving it back to me. I carry all sensitive material on a hidden USB hard disk.
mhtaipei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 30, 04, 9:11 am   #4
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Seat 1A, Juice pretty much everywhere, Mucci des Coins Exotiques
Posts: 24,902
Never had a problem in China. But Saudi Arabia wants to scan all your floppies and CD's for porn. So I never bring any with me. Floppies or CD's that is.
stimpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 30, 04, 4:40 pm   #5
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Newport Beach, California, USA
Programs: No longer an FF, no status, no joy in Mudville.
Posts: 35,472
I've travelled to China many times with my laptop. No one has ever looked at it (or anything else that I was carrying). As a rule, you will find entry into and exit from China somewhat faster, easier and more courteously conducted than entering or leaving the US.
PTravel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 30, 04, 6:38 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Boston, MA, USA
Posts: 1,470
Gov't Travel Notices

Here is a link to the US State Dept Notice on China. I don't see anything about computer files, but there is a section on "Document Seizures":

"DOCUMENT SEIZURES: Chinese authorities have seized documents, literature, and letters that they deem to be pornographic, political in nature, or intended for religious proselytism. Persons seeking to enter China with religious materials in a quantity deemed to be greater than that needed for personal use may be detained and fined. Chinese customs authorities may seize books, films, records, tapes, and compact disks to determine if they violate Chinese prohibitions. Individuals believed to be engaged in religious proselytism or in conduct Chinese officials consider immoral or inappropriate have been detained and expelled."

Your profile does not indicate where you are from. If you have any concerns, I would urge you to contact your countries embassy in China or the equivilent of the US State Dept in your country for the latest information and warnings.
businesstraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 1, 04, 3:27 am   #7
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: DEN
Programs: UA GS, 0.8MM
Posts: 11,224
No problems. I have commuted and lived here and go through the border several times a year. Never a check. If you are concerned, move any files to a USB drive and pack it in your luggage.
redbeard911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 1, 04, 6:07 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: SNA, LAX
Programs: UA 1K, SPG Plat, Hertz P Circle
Posts: 1,628
I've not had any problems at all carrying laptops (yes, I carry two) in and out of China. In each visit, nobody has even bothered to look at them besides running them through the standard X-ray machines.

I have, however had a bad experience with Israel. One of the laptops did not pass a chemical swipe as I prepare to leave Tel Aviv. Now, this laptop has so far passed tests at LAX, CDG, and FRA on the same trip. TEL security took just about everything apart, but was still not satisfied. They kept the laptop and asked me to pack all accessories in checked luggage. The laptop arrived at my home 3 days later in a cardboard box without any packaging materials. It no longer works, and neither the airport nor airline will reimburse me for it.
__________________
Nobody hiding in some cave is going to dictate when I can or cannot fly.
Indurain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 2, 04, 3:07 am   #9
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Des Moines
Programs: UA GS, all the major Airline, Hotel and Car Programs
Posts: 1,593
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayou360
I'm going to China on a trip ... but I'm worried about carrying files into China. Wondering if any of you have experience with this.
I highly recomend carrying files into China. They are very handy. If you are thrown into prison, you can use them to cut through the bars to engineer your escape.
mikel51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 3, 04, 9:59 am   #10
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NY Metro Area
Programs: AA PLT 1MM, UA Something or other under the new system MM, Costco General Member
Posts: 35,187
Only been to China once and certainly no problems with the laptop. However, if I had really sensitive government documents or even things that appeared to be really sensitive I would not take them into ANY foreign country with the possible exception of a few allied countries like NATO and SEATO. Once you are there you just arent in control and you cant predict what might happen on any given occassion.
__________________
Carly Simon was talking about ME!!
My packing Blog - Today - New List April 19, 2013!.
GadgetFreak is online now   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:14 am.