Changing China

Giant on the move

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from Summit Notebook:

IBM skips around China Internet censorship

Foreign companies in China, which has the world's biggest online community, have faced allegations of bowing to censorship rules in their hunt for market access. To be careful, they usually avoid questions on the subject altogether or deflect them with humour.

"I don't think I am the expert to comment on this," Shirley Yu-Tsui, a vice president of strategy for IBM greater China, said at the Reuters China Investment Summit.

"All I know is my children complain they can not get on Facebook," she said.

The subject is very serious, as companies such as Google and Yahoo have had their executives called to face angry congressional questioning in the United States to explain their business practices in China.

"I don't think they would come to IBM for that," said Yu-Tsui when asked what IBM would do if asked to help monitor traffic on China's Internet.

“The hidden danger of blogs”


China’s government may be fretting about the vast new potential for leaking information opened up by the internet (see this Xinhua piece on planned revisions to the state secrets law).
But that hasn’t stopped the many bureaucrats who police the nebulous world of Chinese state secrets from wanting to leap headfirst into the online world.

The web is awash with the sites of state secrets bureaux, I discovered after a colleague dug up a report posted on one of them about the commercially and diplomatically sensitive detention of executives from mining giant Rio Tinto.