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China's Internet Censors Hit Twitter, Flickr & Bing

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on June 02, 2009

More censorship news from China. With the 20-year anniversary of the suppression of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement two days from now, Beijing’s censors have gone after Twitter, Flickr, Bing and others. Blogger Ryan McGlaughlin on Lost Laowai says there’s no coincidence about the timing. “Undoubtedly the blocks are in an effort to curb online commentary and the dissemination of information about the Tiananmen Square massacre, which on June 4 celebrates its 20th anniversary,” he writes.

According to Thord Daniel Hedengren, writing at the Blog Herald, Microsoft’s new Bing is among those censored – news that, strangely enough, has probably cheered the folks in Redmond, who only launched Microsoft’s latest search engine a few days ago. Just imagine how bad it would have been for Bing, trying to establish itself as a viable alternative to Google, to have been ignored by the world’s biggest Internet censor? Instead, in Beijing’s pre-June 4 crackdown, Bing gets blocked just like the other, more established names. That seal of disapproval should help get Bing some much-needed credibility back home.

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Reader Comments


June 3, 2009 04:20 AM

Who wants to go to China?


June 5, 2009 03:13 AM

As a student who was very active in that student movement, I have to say: western media should stop spreading lies about that incident. I heard enough. Ironcially, the root of my losing trust on western media came from my experience in 1989. Think about it: Many westerners complain that Chinese gov blocks websites and manipulate information. In western media, it makes many people to believe that Chinese people are against their gov. Do you know how little support the Chinese dissidents in US can get from oversea Chinese? Today, I had to admit that the student movement in 1989 was good at very begining and turned out to be very bad afterwards since westerners and politicians' involvement. All the results were expected by US government since the top student leaders got their permission to US before 06-04, 1989. Chinese students were used gun powders to overturn Chinese gov. BTW, today, many of those student leaders are living in US with subsidies from US gov. Almost no oversea Chinese support them. OF course, no western media can report their pitiful status.


June 8, 2009 01:00 AM

Hey Steven,
Funny how there's always an indignated chinese guy protesting critics in western media, makes you almost belive, that's in addition of the 30000 censors paid by bejing to suppress comments in chinese blogs, there could be an additional 30000 posting on western media blogs....if that's the case, how's that working out for you??
Anyway to answer your post:
chinese student were using gun powder???, so what are you saying here??that chinese troops were acting in self defense..right??
Well, being french,we heard something similar for the german propaganda duign WW2.
YOu will see poster down the street, with faces of resistants, who were sabotaging german occupation the best they could, described on the poster as terroristes against harmony and peace...sure they were terrorists for teh gestapo and the nazis...but not for the french people, and they are today celebrated as heros, not terrorists, because they were fighting an occupation that ended french democracy, they were fighting an administration that ruined their country, and I believe, along 60 other million french peopple they had every right to do so.
But during ww2 the story was very different, they wre barely noticed in france, and many french people were against them becuae their act of sabotage would bring down retaliation form german troops on civilians...
I can see a very similar situation in china, were I live by the way, wre if you ask student and young professional, you will find a very tiny minority who will actively praise their governemnt censorship, the rest are getting increasingly cynical of government action to suppress the media, not mentionning the cost of it that chinese people are bearing.just to open a website to sell garment on it, you need a license issued from the authorities, and that can take between 3 months to 3 years...Steven you go in china and run down your poll, and find me at least one person who doens't think that imposing a license for a website isn't simply absolutly ridiculous.
I'd like to add that the western media will nevr be abble to cover the 1989 events as well as chinese media, but unfortunatly they have to, since no chinese media will cover it.So maybe you can start blamming the cn media for not doing their jobs.
You can defends tiranny and media suppression as long as you want Steven, or whatever your name is, I don't think you'll convince much people on either side of the pacific...tell me do you have much support from oversea chinese as well???yeah that's what I though..
Anyway, keep on the bad fight, it's makes my day to see your pityfull comments trying to defends the ignominous action of the CCP, so far I never see any body convinced by your peers.

Da Lai Lama, Fa Long Gong, Tian An Men

June 20, 2009 07:57 AM

I am currently living in China as an expat and I must say that the Chinese government is doing a relatively good job considering their situation. They have a huge population and a gigantic proverbial sh*t heap left by Mao. However, I have to say that the censorship of the internet (along with the obvious problems of the invasions of Tibet, persecution of Fa Long Gong practitioners and the blatant racism towards non Han Chinese etc...) is completely unjustifiable. I'm currently surfing through a proxy (You guys are blocked at the moment I think). All Internet censorship does is make martyrs out of the sites blocked, anyone with a degree of technical competency can get around their primitive 'firewalls' and get faster internet while doing so (the firewall serves as a gigantic bottleneck).

To 'Steven' I have talked with many survivors of the Tian An Men massacre and all reports suggest (even from several ex-red guard) that the Chinese government acted entirely irresponsibly in blatant disregard of human rights. How does it feel to sell out your countrymen by working for the people who want to blame their suffering on YOU the students.

Also, to other readers of this article. Yes, Steven is a plant by the Chinese government (or there is a high chance at least). You can tell by the fact he is using perfect spelling and grammar on the internet and by the fact that some of the translated words (i.e. pitiful) are translated directly from Chinese without considering the cultural context of the word. Admittedly, it's a mistake that most people make but someone with 'Steven's' level of language mastery would have been able to find a better substitute, implying that this could be a stock reply to all articles like this churned out in 20 seconds by an employed translator.

At the moment I'm not even sure why the government treats the whole thing as a conspiracy, everyone I have talked to knows of the event and they all take the side of the 'biased western media' but I, along with many other people don't associate the atrocity with the current government. Personally, I think the government could save a great deal of face by owning up to what their predecessors did.

I end by saying this in the general direction of the 'Golden Shield'. Anonymous has reached China. They will not forgive, they will not forget. Don't try to block Ebaumsworld, remember what I said about martyrs? Don't presume to rule the internet while they are still here. Anon is everyone. Steven, why not join them?

(also to mods/Amins, sorry for pulling Ebaums crap here. Censorship just bugs me and theirs nowhere else it can get noticed. Over 9000 Internets to you if you leave this up for some time)

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BusinessWeek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies. Eye on Asia’s bloggers include Asia regional editor Bruce Einhorn, Tokyo reporter Ian Rowley, Korea bureau chief Moon Ihlwan, Asia News Editor and China Bureau Chief. Dexter Roberts, and Hong Kong-based Asia correspondent Frederik Balfour.

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