The unexpected side effect of migrating to GCP. And questions about partnership

I raised this question in the matrix chat but nobody responded me so I am posting here again. The data migration in September had an unexpected side-effect. So due to the Great Firewall (GFW), Google services are completely blocked in China. We are the admin of Common Voice Cantonese and constantly work with the volunteers/voice contributors from Mainland China. After this migration we have be receiving a large amount of complaints that users are not able to download their voice recordings (infinite wait time when requesting download of their voices), and having 404 errors or 502 server errors when trying to upload their recordings. AWS services are available in mainland China so previously this was not an issue.

I know we can’t change Common Voice’s decision, especially now that the migration has happened. But since this is effectively ruling out hundreds of languages in mainland China, I am proposing a workaround to solve this problem. Ordinary Chinese people are not capable of using VPNs or other techniques to bypass the GFW, but the great majority are able to use WeChat mini programs. We are able to create WeChat mini programs which serve as a proxy, to enable mainland Chinese residents to upload their voices to the CV platform. So our questions are:

  1. Does this require a formal partnership with Common Voice?
  2. To build the WeChat mini programs we need the apis of voice uploading and downloading. Is the api open to the public or can will Common Voice provide the api for us?

We understand that the Common Voice team has limited bandwidth so we are not asking the team to do anything heavy, we simply want a “go ahead” approval so that we are all aware of the changes and potentially collaborate deeper in the future.

We have also noticed that Common Voice did open an official WeChat channel, but there is no activity since May 2022. We understand that it’s hard to operate WeChat in the mainland China 's context, and we are happy to assist Common Voice in that regard.

Thank you


For what could chinese people use this ? :thinking: :innocent:

Saverio Morelli made an android app and got further authorization. But there is no API.

Shadowsock used to work a few years ago but the GFW is constantly evolving so it doesn’t work any more now. Also most ordinary Chinese people are unaware of such tools and simply don’t know how to use them.

Thanks for the pointer. Do you mean I should ask Saverio Morelli for the details? And how should I contact him?

1 Like

Telegram: @common_voice_android


@laubonghaudoi kindly note that we are currently in discussion with the product management team. Once we have thoroughly discussed the raised issues, we will provide you with comprehensive feedback. Thanks.

Thank you both so much! I will wait for the response from Common Voice team, and please let me know if there is anything I can do on my end.