Companies Not So Interested In Talking To Congress About China

from the uh,-no-thanks,-we'll-pass dept

Late last week, we were a bit surprised that Congress had finally decided to investigate American companies agreeing to help the Chinese government censor content. It’s been going on for many years and it was only when Google joined the party that Congress decided it was worth looking into the issue. Well, it appears that a few companies would rather not discuss the issue at all. Microsoft and Cisco have already turned down the invitation to attend the briefing, while Yahoo and Google are still considering the request. While the companies have every right not to send someone, it certainly could be portrayed by some as these firms not wanting to publicly discuss their dealings in China.

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Comments on “Companies Not So Interested In Talking To Congress About China”

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MadJo (profile) says:

Re: Ban them

Go ahead and ban most of the internet then. Yahoo, Google and MSN already offer censored content to the Chinese public. That is already quite a large chunk of the available search engines.

I think it isn’t as black and white as you state it. (It never is black or white, it is always a shade of gray)
These corporations want to expand, but the American and European market is almost ‘fullgrown’ (or at least not growing as much) whereas the Asian market is growing pretty fast and in much respects blooming.

Many companies are also outsourcing many tasks to India for much lower labourcosts, would you want to ban them too, for encouraging cheap labour/exploitation?

Where exactly do you draw the line for banning?

Clifford Edward VanMeter (user link) says:

Re: Re: Ban them

There is a more direct way to deal with this. I’ve had Google ads on my site since it started, as of today they are gone. Though I initially debated whether to simply send the adwords money to organizations like Students for a Free Tibet, I decided I could no longer support Google in any way.

While its true that I am a less than a pimple on Google’s ass, if more sites took put this tactic to use, Google would be forced to rethink their policy on supporting censorship in clear violation of their own “guiding principles”.

The stated purpose of Google’s sellout is that they want to change China from the inside ? history shows this to be impossible. China has been ruled by a totalitarian regime for more than 2000 years, first by the emperor, now by an oligarchy of old men.

The US and other governments have been trying to get China to change for decades with no success whatsoever. Yes, they have embraced capitalist policies where it is a direct benefit to them, but with the largest consumer market in the world as their leverage, they not only don’t have to change, they are in the position to enforce change on others, History, as well as current events, shows us that this is what they will do.

Bottom line — we ARE at war with China. Certainly a trade war exists already, but we are moving closer and closer to an ideological war as well.

… And right now, as these events have shown, China is winning on all fronts.

Clifford Edward VanMeter (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Ban them

Yes, I am running Linux (LAMP). For my own sites and for my client and company sites we always use open-source.

As to the Cisco issue — I don’t use Cisco or any Microsoft products in any network or on any computer under my direct control.

Oh, and I dropped my Yahoo account after they collaborated in arresting a Chinese dissident. I’m probably going to drop my Gmail account as well, but that’s a slightly longer process than pulling my ads.

More to the point — it isn’t that I can boycott every collaborator or company whose business practices I don’t agree with. I do what I can, where I can. I make an effort to make the honorable choice, which is more than we can say about Google.

Google particularly offends me because they’ve represented themselves as something they clearly are not. “Do No Evil” hardly holds up if when faced with making their first really hard choice, the fold. Its not just the act itself that offends, its the hypocrisy.

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