Baidu, Tencent, Sina and other 40 Leading Technology Companies Co-operate With Chinese Government Efforts to Reinforce Online Control
Posted by Author on November 12, 2011
In the latest initiative aimed at tightening government control of the Internet, the heads of around 40 leading technology companies – including Sina Corp (which owns the Sina Weibo micro-blogging website), Baidu (the leading search engine) and Tencent (owner of the QQ messaging service) – were invited to a long meeting last week with officials in Beijing.
In the course of the three-day meeting, which ended on 6 November and was hosted by the Internet Information Office, the Internet companies undertook to implement government directives on online surveillance and to combat pornography, fraud and the dissemination of rumours and false information online.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the promised cooperation, which will have the effect of turning these companies into the accomplices of the government’s cyber-censorship.
Industry and information technology minister Miao Wei told the Internet companies they must increase their investment in “tracking surveillance.”
Of late, the government seems to have been stepping up its efforts to curb the free flow of news and information online. At the end of last month, reports of rioting in the east of the country were filtered and searches for Zhili, the name of the city that was the centre of the unrest, were blocked.
The authorities also stepped up their control of the Internet in Inner Mongolia following protests about the death of a herdsman on 20 October while trying to protect traditional grazing lands. Many Mongolian websites called for demonstrations against the government’s attempts to impose a news blackout on the affair, and access to several sites such as Boljoo, Mongolian BBS and Medege was blocked.
China is on the Reporters Without Borders list of “Enemies of the Internet” and is ranked 171st out of 178 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.