President Trump will get around China’s block on Twitter by using “special equipment” to bypass the Asian nation’s internet firewall, according to NBC News.
“China, of course, blocks Twitter, but a senior White House official tells us tonight that the White House has brought with it special equipment to get around the Chinese firewall so the president can keep tweeting throughout this trip here in China as he likes,” NBC’s Peter Alexander said Wednesday.
Business Insider reported Wednesday that it is unclear what equipment Trump’s team is utilizing.
A wide variety of hardware and software tools, however, exist to circumvent internet blockages like China’s version.
A senior Trump administration official on Wednesday said that the president has every intention of tweeting while in China.
“[It’s] so long as he can access his Twitter account,” the official told reporters aboard Air Force One as Trump headed to Beijing.
“The president will tweet whenever he wants,” they added. “That’s his way of communicating directly with the American people.”
“I’m sure we’ve got the gear aboard this airplane to allow that to happen. But it is noteworthy that none of the major Western platforms for social media are even allowed to operate in China.”
Twitter is blocked for domestic users in China, but foreigners have had success accessing the platform while using data roaming services that connect to their home cellular networks.
Trump has a secure cellphone, though he uses the device more for tweeting than traditional phone calls.
The cellphone was developed in collaboration between the Secret Service and the National Security Agency (NSA).
The device has some regular functionality disabled to guard it against hacking, but using it in China poses a distinct challenge.
China’s cellular network is thought to be entirely compromised by its security services, meaning even turning a cellphone on there poses a security risk.
Trump’s communications require satellites, sophisticated electronics and the work of hundreds of people on multiple continents to keep them secure.
Trump is visiting China as part of a 12-day trip through Asia, and he has already issued several tweets during his trek.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.