TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: China Defends Right to Police Internet

China Defends Right to Police Internet

Associated Press News Wire (
Thu, 16 Feb 2006 12:46:59 -0600

China on Thursday defended its right to police the Internet, one day
after four American technology giants appeared before Congress on
charges they collaborated with Beijing to crush free speech online in
return for market access.

"It is normal for countries to manage the Internet in accordance with
law and to guide its development in a healthy and orderly fashion,"
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. "China has also
borrowed and learned from the United States and other countries in the
world. Does United States think it is so superior to the rest of the
world in dictating the internet?"

While China encourages use of the Internet for business and education, it
strictly monitors the Web and censors anything it considers critical or a
threat to the ruling Communist Party.

Representatives from Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc. , Cisco Systems
Inc. and Google Inc. on Wednesday faced harsh questioning from U.S.
lawmakers at a hearing of a House of Representatives International
Relations subcommittee in Washington.

Yahoo has been accused of providing information that led to the
jailing of two of its Chinese e-mail users, while Google started a
Chinese version of its popular search engine that omits links to
content deemed unacceptable by the government. Microsoft shut down, at
Beijing's request, a popular Chinese blog that touches on sensitive
topics such as press freedoms.

Analysts have said that U.S. tech companies eyeing China's market of
110 million Internet users face a tough dilemma of wanting to tap into
an enormous consumer base and following Chinese laws, which give way
to the perception they're helping China harass dissidents.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Personally, I think that China
represents such a _vast_, huge market of mostly untapped citizenry,
that the four major USA players are so eager to get their share of it
they promise anything they must to curry the favor of the Chinese
government. PAT]

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