Sunday, March 14, 2010

Googling China

Google's relationship with the Chinese government has been tenuous, at best, in recent months, ever since Google announced it would stop censoring Chinese search results -- even if it meant having to leave China. Yet even after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for Internet freedom in China some two weeks later, Google has been able to retain a foothold in China; its status there, however, remains iffy -- at best.

At the South by Southwest conference in Austin this weekend, Kaiser Kuo, a Beijing-based author and political commentator, spoke to attendees about Beijing's complex relationship with the Internet and why he thinks that most of China's more than 384 million Internet users "are too busy enjoying the Internet they have, to worry about the Internet we think they ought to have." Kuo also talked about what he called "public misperceptions" about Internet censorship in China, the reason for Google's announcement and the likely road ahead.

Kuo's remarks were called Google in China: Context and Consequences. What do you think of his take on the state of free speech in China via the Net?

For more on China censorship, see The Spinternet and Peep Show, Cause Global reports on the subject that ran previously on this blog.

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