Friday, January 06, 2006

More Hazards on Blogging in China

Disturbing news coming out of China that Microsoft has shut down a blog in China because of its political reporting. The blog is run by Zhao Jing under the blog name An Ti. If you go to An Ti's blog now here is what it says: "The space is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later."

So what was the offense? As reported in the New York Times:
The blog was removed last week from a Microsoft service called MSN Spaces after the blog discussed the firing of the independent-minded editor of The Beijing News, which prompted 100 journalists at the paper to go on strike Dec. 29. It was an unusual show of solidarity for a Chinese news organization in an industry that has complied with tight restrictions on what can be published.... Mr. Zhao said in an interview Thursday that Microsoft chose to delete his blog on Dec. 30 with no warning. "I didn't even say I supported the strike," he said. "This action by Microsoft infringed upon my freedom of speech. They even deleted my blog and gave me no chance to back up my files without any warning."
What is Microsoft doing collaborating with China to stifle fundamental free speech rights? A blogger is providing breaking news without commentary and he is shut down? Perhaps the Person of the Year Bill Gates should turn his attention to matters outside Africa and look to what his company is doing to aid and abet the infringement of basic civil liberties in China.
UPDATE: One of the comments provides a useful link to a proposal from Reporters Without Borders to address the problem of Internet companies who aid and abet the infringement of free speech rights. The article gives numerous examples of Internet companies' "ethical lapses" and offers a proposal for a legislative fix. Definitely worth a read.


Blogger Seth Weinberger said...


I'm not so sure the issue is as simple as you make it out to be. While it does seem that US companies are cooperating with China to supress civil liberties in order to secure market access, what if that market access eventually transforms China into a more liberal society? This is the logic of the democratic peace argument, generally, and of the US strategy of engagement, more specifically. As China becomes increasingly integrated into the global economy and develops more of a stake in the status quo, so the argument goes, it will gradually adopt policies more in line with western standards. If this argument is correct, should those potential future benefits be sacrificed for the short run protection of one individual's blog?

1/06/2006 2:56 PM  
Blogger Roger Alford said...


Perhaps you are correct. Perhaps incremental progress through market access is the best approach.

I actually think the best argument to justify Microsoft's behavior is a contractual one. The MSN spaces Code of Conduct ( says that:

"Violations of the MSN Spaces Code of Conduct may result in the termination of access to MSN Spaces services or deletion of content without notice. You will not upload, post, transmit, transfer, disseminate, distribute, or facilitate distribution of any content, including text, images, sound, data, information, or software, that: ... is illegal or violates any local and national laws that apply to your location."

So all Microsoft is doing is implementing an international strategy of compliance with local law. When Chinese authorities indicated the blog's political reporting was illegal, it shut the blog down pursuant to its contractual right.

But that argument just says that Microsoft had the contractual right to shut the blog down. It doesn't speak to the discretion it exercised in doing so.

I would think that all it will take is for one blog host to take a stand. Then all the Chinese blogs will migrate to that website and blog from there. Maybe Microsoft is not the right company to do that. Perhaps, owned by Google (which has less of a corporate presence in China) is better. But if one blog host website takes a stand it will minimize the problem for Chinese bloggers.

Roger Alford

1/07/2006 1:11 AM  
Blogger Seth Weinberger said...


That seems right. If, in fact (I don't know so I'll take your word for it), Google has much less of a market presence in China and wouldn't be subject to as much government pressure as is Microsoft, and if blogs migrated and congregated on a Google site, China could be forced to choose between controlling speech and allowing Internet access. The hope is that as China becomes more connected to the international economy and as Chinese businessmen become more dependent on free-flowing information, China would prefer expanding economic gains to maintaining political control (this is known as the political paradox of economic development: strengthening a national economy requires loosening the ties of government). Of course, this doesn't always happen. If the "threat" of the information and/or liberties is perceived to be sufficiently strong, the state will prefer to enforce its control, as in Tiananmen Square. The process isn't perfect, but it does seem to be moving in the right direction.

1/07/2006 1:31 PM  
Blogger biff said...

When a corporation does business in a foreign country, it is subject to foreign laws, not US laws. For example, I would expect Sony to cooperate with our Justice Department to prosecute US antitrust violations, even if such practices are legal in Japan.

We must remember that our position on political speech is unique to our country and it infringes on foreign sovereignty to force our style of government onto them.

1/07/2006 2:01 PM  
Blogger click here said...

Reporters sans Frontières have an interesting article, entitled "Do Internet companies need to be regulated to ensure they respect free expression?" here:

1/07/2006 7:34 PM  
Blogger Meredith Andrews said...

A young man was getting ready to graduate Dofus Kamas from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the Dofus Kamas young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the Dofus Kamas young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold.

8/08/2013 4:53 AM  
Blogger Meredith Andrews said...

The first pictures of Earth taken from space showed a solid ball FFXI Gil covered by brown and green landmasses and blue-green oceans. It appeared as if the Earth had always looked that way -- and always would.Scientists now know, however, that the surface FFXI Gil of the Earth is not as permanent as had been thought. Scientists explain that the surface of our planet is always in motion. Continents move about the Earth like huge ships at sea. They float on pieces of the Earth's outer skin, or crust. New crust FFXI Gil is created as melted rock pushes up from inside the planet. Old crust is destroyed as it rolls down into the hot area and melts again.

8/08/2013 4:54 AM  
Blogger jay paul said...

Really nice post, you got great blog and Thank you for sharing This excellently written content. Waiting for next one.

HP - Pavilion 17.3" Laptop - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive - Sparkling Black

HP - ENVY TouchSmart 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - 8GB Memory - 750GB Hard Drive - Natural Silver

11/19/2013 7:34 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 08.08
michael kors outlet, coach outlet, louboutin, tiffany jewelry, burberry outlet online, nike air max, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, gucci outlet, longchamp outlet, longchamp, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, coach purses, replica watches, burberry, jordan shoes, kate spade outlet, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, nike outlet, louboutin outlet, kate spade handbags, coach factory outlet, coach outlet, tory burch outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin outlet, tiffany and co, prada outlet, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, longchamp outlet, louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike air max, michael kors

8/08/2015 2:18 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

louboutin pas cher, michael kors, sac guess, michael kors, nike air max, air jordan pas cher, ray ban uk, hollister pas cher, vans pas cher, converse pas cher, true religion jeans, michael kors, oakley pas cher, true religion outlet, nike blazer, nike air max, timberland, lacoste pas cher, north face, nike free, vanessa bruno, hollister, nike air max, burberry, true religion jeans, lululemon, longchamp pas cher, nike free run uk, tn pas cher, nike roshe run, air max, ralph lauren uk, mulberry, hogan, abercrombie and fitch, north face, air force, new balance pas cher, hermes, sac longchamp, ralph lauren pas cher, ray ban pas cher

8/08/2015 2:19 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

herve leger, ferragamo shoes, new balance, giuseppe zanotti, nfl jerseys, mac cosmetics, nike roshe, asics running shoes, oakley, vans shoes, north face outlet, baseball bats, reebok shoes, insanity workout, birkin bag, babyliss, valentino shoes, mcm handbags, beats by dre, nike trainers, mont blanc, p90x workout, nike huarache, ghd, instyler, timberland boots, celine handbags, jimmy choo shoes, abercrombie and fitch, hollister, iphone 6 cases, nike roshe, soccer shoes, nike air max, longchamp, chi flat iron, hollister, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, bottega veneta, lululemon, wedding dresses

8/08/2015 2:23 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

thomas sabo, karen millen, gucci, toms shoes, links of london, ugg boots uk, ralph lauren, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, swarovski, montre pas cher, uggs on sale, ugg boots, hollister, juicy couture outlet, pandora charms, ray ban, bottes ugg, ugg boots, lancel, supra shoes, ugg boots, ugg pas cher, wedding dresses, coach outlet, marc jacobs, juicy couture outlet, louboutin, vans, converse outlet, converse, swarovski crystal, ugg boots, pandora jewelry, replica watches, hollister, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, nike air max
ninest123 08.08

8/08/2015 2:24 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home