Thursday, November 02, 2006

Carrots and Sticks

...are probably the most effective way to deal with Chinese censorship. I'm glad to see that Microsoft may start using that approach as well.
The Associated Press cited Microsoft's Tipson as adding the following: "It is a point at which point you decide the Chinese people are worse off for having this service in their country...We have to discuss at what point censorship or persecution of bloggers has reached a point, or monitoring e-mail has reached a point...where it's simply unacceptable to continue to do business there. We try to define those levels and the trends are not good at the moment. And not just in China."

Tipson was reportedly being grilled by reporters and other questioners about allegations by human rights groups such as Amnesty International, that producers of Chinese search engines such as Microsoft were actively colluding with the Chinese government to propagate that country's policy of censorship to its own citizens. He denied Microsoft was in any such collusion, arguing that instead, Microsoft's efforts there are actively increasing citizens' access to information, although he conceded any company that does business in China must abide by its own local laws

Get China hooked on high tech investment then offer some quid pro quo. Sounds like a winning strategy to me. Greed is a powerful motivator, but the person has to know, exactly, what they are missing for it to be effective.

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