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Google's China Problem

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the two-great-tastes-taste-weird-together dept.

203

Wraithfighter writes "The New York Times has a rather lengthy, but informative, piece on the origins of Google's current Chinese search engine, as well as a very informative look at how censoring is actually done in China. From the article: 'Are there gradations of censorship, better and worse ways to limit information? In America, that seems like an intolerable question -- the end of the conversation. But in China, as Google has discovered, it is just the beginning.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Great - Please log in (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180086)

Can't comment since I have to log in to RTFA

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180088)

Innit!

Dupe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180093)

Nice going editors. Another dupe.

IWTRTFA (0, Offtopic)

NullAgent (840366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180102)

I Want To Read The Fucking Article but I can't! Anyone wanna give some helpful insight?

Google/China Relationship (2, Interesting)

uglysad (867575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180106)

Google is not "censoring" the chinese.

These websites are blocked in china anyways, so instead of having the first 3 or 4 pages of results blocked, google removed the results do delivery more accurate search results. Google isn't censoring the internet for the chinese, they are optimizing it.

Re:Google/China Relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180151)

China just wants to steal Google's search technology. China will try to steal anything, and everything. Maybe we will see Choogle, China's alternative to Google made with Google's code, just a different graphic.

The biggest threat to the US is China, not Iraq. America, keep increasing the trade deficit.

Oh .. and Osama, but he's not hiding in Iraq! .. Maybe he is in China?

Re:Google/China Relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180207)

Grab your tinfoil hat before it's too late!!

Re:Google/China Relationship (0, Flamebait)

Traiklin (901982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180356)

China just wants to steal Google's search technology. China will try to steal anything, and everything. Maybe we will see Choogle, China's alternative to Google made with Google's code, just a different graphic.

China want's to be like Microsoft now?

You don't often hear about a country wanting to take after a corperations buisness model.

Re:Google/China Relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180180)

But then there was google cache which now is censored.
So I still think they are censoring, but maybe they did it because otherwise they got censored themselfs?

Re:Google/China Relationship (5, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180181)

There are still many ways to bypass [wikipedia.org] the block. Assuming one knows that the web page exists. Thanks to this "optimization", this is no longer the case.

If the effect of this "filter that is no censorship" is merely cosmetic, then why was Google forced to include it or face being banned from operating in China?

Re:Google/China Relationship (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180365)

If you couldn't get to the results Google delivered, why would you use it?

If you're not using it why would a company targeting the Chinese market advertise with Google?

It just makes business sense for Google to cater to Chinese consumers to make the Google product relevant to them and thus Google has a far better chance to make a buck then say Microsoft (especially with the rebel Linux contingency hoping to gain a foothold in a market with a potential BILLION consumers).

IMHO, if Linux wants to challenge M$, winning the desktops in China would give them the opportunity to do so. If Google becomes the default search engine in China like it has the rest of the world, it will build confidence in branding and if/when Google delivers a Linux based Google-integrated (mail, office suite, AV, IM, Gdrive, etc) OS... look out!

Re:Google/China Relationship (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181464)

I think you just ignored what he was saying. If you know a certain page exists, then there are many ways to bypass China's internet filtering. It's not perfect, and it never will be.

But by removing the blocked pages from Google's index completely, it's as if they never existed. In fact, blocking them no longer matters, because most people will never realize they exist in the first place.

Fundamentally, it's the difference between being handed a history book that's been filled with black marker lines covering stuff that's "redacted," and being given a history book that's been totally rewritten to only show one point of view. In the first case, you're at least painfully aware that you're getting a one-sided viewpoint, in the latter case you're not.

Re:Google/China Relationship (1)

LeonGeeste (917243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181015)

If the effect of this "filter that is no censorship" is merely cosmetic, then why was Google forced to include it or face being banned from operating in China?

It has to do with Chinese culture, which emphasizes "saving face". (If you're ever doing business in China, never call out a Chinese person on a mistake in front of others. I know, you probably wouldn't do that in the West, but that applies triple in China.) In the Tianenman Square prosecutions, those who contributed the most and did the most damage got off the easiest because they played the game of mutual criticism and admitted what they did was wrong. In contrast, minor participants got stiff penalties merely for refusing to admit what they did was wrong.

Long story short, even if officials in the Chinese government were willing to bow down to this pressure not to censor, or even considered censorship wrong, they definitely wouldn't want to reverse previous policy or look like they were bowing down to international pressure. That would make them look stupid.

Creating an appearance of rigid enforcement while knowing quite well that people are circumventing these restrictions is exactly what you would expect them to do.

That's silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181393)

There are still many ways to bypass the block. Assuming one knows that the web page exists. Thanks to this "optimization", this is no longer the case.

This is a silly argument because the optimization is if anything easier to bypass than the block. All you have to do is go to the Chinese google search at google.com [google.com] , you know, the one that's existed ever since before the "censored" one at google.cn was created. The "normal" google is periodically subject to being blocked itself, but, y'know, if you can't see google.com in blocked form, you can't see the sites you're missing out on by not using it.

Re:Google/China Relationship (3, Insightful)

TheBeansprout (926731) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180193)

Surely there's a difference between "this event happened (because there's search results for it) but your country doesn't want you to see any information about it " and "this doesn't exist - look - that event ***never happened***"?

Re:Google/China Relationship (1)

Will Fisher (731585) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180309)

Not quite true.

If some of your search results are omitted because of this optimization/censorship, then google add a note at the bottom of the page saying something to the effect of "some of your search results have been omitted in compliance with local laws".

Re:Google/China Relationship (4, Insightful)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180371)

>google add a note at the bottom of the page saying something to the effect of "some of your search results have been omitted in compliance with local laws".

Suppose I search for "rumsfeld secretary of defense " and I get a nice set of results but at the bottom of the search page it says "some of your search results have been omitted in compliance with local laws".

Now is it;
1. Faked pictures/fan-fic stories about Donald Rumsfeld that clearly (or maybe not so clearly) break one of the multiple local decency laws.
or
2. Legitimate criticism of a high-ranking official highlighting his various professional flaws worthy of public discussion.

For me the whole Google/China thing comes down to the question - Do you trust a company and a government to think for you?

Re:Google/China Relationship (4, Insightful)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180285)

>Google isn't censoring the internet for the chinese, they are optimizing it.

Thats a new one.

They are omitting results due to local laws. If this is optimizing, why don't they omit every single search result in America that would break local laws here?

Re:Google/China Relationship (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180304)

Try reading the rest of the parent comment before commenting you tool

Re:Google/China Relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180523)

They don't "omit every search result in the US" because... they don't have to! Duh.

Re:Google/China Relationship (2, Interesting)

hey (83763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180550)

They should list the banned sites but with an icon (eg person with blindfold) beside them.

Re:Google/China Relationship (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180766)

I will buy this explanation when Google puts a little notification at the top "Displaying results 1-10 of 3,000. 45,000,000 search results blocked by your government. Click here for FAQ"

Re:Google/China Relationship (1)

ivec (61549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180767)

Well, Google does censor its cached pages in China, doesn't it?

Re:Google/China Relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181261)

Google isn't censoring the internet for the chinese, they are optimizing it.

Right. And when IBM collaborated with the Third Reich, they weren't killing Jews for the Nazis, they were just optimizing it. You are such an amoral piece of shit as to be beyond all contempt. Google's pandering to Chinese censorship and opression is nothing short of pure evil in the name of greed.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

Ralph Yarro (704772) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180112)

Are there gradations of censorship, better and worse ways to limit information? In America, that seems like an intolerable question

Oh come on, very few in Amertica would argue against any limitations on information.

From trade secrets to copyrights to defamation to classified documents to pornography laws, restrictions on information are inherent in our whole legal system. How about court sealed documents? Furthermore, atatcking "propaganda" stations has long been considered a legitmimate aim of our military in waging wars.

Of course there gradations of censorship. The debate has ALWAYS been about which information can be restricted. Pretty much everyone agrees that some should be. Prentending otherwise is unhelpful and it's dishonest.

Re:Huh? (1, Funny)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180137)

Furthermore, atatcking "propaganda" stations has long been considered a legitmimate aim of our military in waging wars.
If propaganda stations are bad, why is FOX News still up? :P

Re:Huh? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180585)

that some should be.

On 9/11 American ignorance cost thousands of lies. Three planes flew into the WTC towers and the pentagon. On 9/11 American knowledge saved hundreds more, the passengers of the fourth plane, having heard of the other hijackings via cellphone, caused the terrorists to fail to reach their target.

The 9/11 commission shows that members of the government knew about the planned hijackings, but being the government... everywhere yet nowhere at once... was powerless to stop them. If everyone had known of the plans, the WTC would probably still be standing today. Only an informed and armed populace can save America from terrorism. When it comes down to one man with an exploding belt in a restuarant, the only way for the government to save anyone would be to put a soldier on every street, in every building, and every vehicle, at which point the government will satisfy the armed populace requirement.

right, because the US is so great (2, Insightful)

nazsco (695026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180113)

like you haven't give a lot of your rights away recently.

Re:right, because the US is so great (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180186)

like you haven't give a lot of your rights away recently.

The truth is that I do not trust any government to respect my liberties, but all else being equal ... I would much rather have a government whose foundation is built on laws like the right to bear arms, and the freedom of speech, than have one whose foundation is built on the right to take from people and controll them in the name of some nice sounding excuse like "stability" or freebies coerced at everyone elses loss.

Re:right, because the US is so great (5, Insightful)

smchris (464899) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180223)

Flamebait because he doesn't elaborate?

The U.S. is very good at withholding information. Not to unload too big a can of postmodernist wupp-ass on anyone, but it does so by creating whatever reality it wants. There STILL ARE/WERE WMDs in Iraq in the minds of many people because a chain of The New York Times, Judy Miller, Scooter Liddy, Dick Cheney SAID there were. Why _withhold_ information when you are the country with the Madison Avenue/Hollywood expertise to _create_ whole realities? When you have the mass seeing your reality, any "truths" are just insignificant background chatter.

I guess it was the comparison between apartheid South Africa and the U.S. where this first became glaringly apparent to me. Generally, South Africa dealt with dissent by "slips in the jail shower" and "suicides out the third floor window" -- excuses which are themselves shapings of reality, but crude post-incident excuses. It was only in the very latest years that they discovered the proactive power of advertising. If you aren't sipping KWV brandy in your decorated 10 room split-level in Soweto like the commercial shows you, it's because you're a LOSER. Doesn't have anything to do with politics.

It was their own fault it took them so long to discover advertising as a weapon. They only allowed TV in the '70s. In the U.S., we were born swimming in media and generally don't even recognize its inherent unreality.

Re:right, because the US is so great (1)

imboboage0 (876812) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181043)

Be careful. In saying that, they may come after you for exposing their secrets to the 'Masses.' (I don't know whether saying this is to be taken as funny, or the sad truth.)

Re:right, because the US is so great (2, Insightful)

bigpicture (939772) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181255)

The US dis-information, misinformation machine goes a lot further than that. It is rotten right down to the core, take any of the present laws and test them against the constitution of the founding fathers, you know the one that is supposed to protect the interests of "we the people". This constitution does not mention "we the lobbyists", "we the special interests groups, "we big business", "we Microsoft" etc., etc.

Did the president of the largest nation in the world visit your home? The bigger question is, why was "a head of state" involved in any private interests at all.

The big lie, the one that gets foisted on the citizens, is that the US is a democracy. This could not be further from the truth, the interests of the people are last in consideration, and the interests of maintaining the power structure come first. What do you imagine that they were discussing then the people of New-Orleans were being washed away? Do you imagine that they set any of this other crap aside to deal with a huge human crisis?

There is no real security for the ordinary citizen, but there is security for those in power, that is why they were not on any of the low security 9/11 planes.

 

Not a real flaim bait. (1)

Shohat (959481) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180397)

This isn't flame bait, it's just an opinion , and he didn't elaborate.That's all .
Flame bait would posting
"The US administration protects it's citizens' rights of free speech and privacy , while China practices censorship and personal surveillance ,using the tools developed in the US"

Why should we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180120)

We complain about China's economy growing, about the trade deficit, about jobs going to China...


...yet we still complain about human rights in China? It seems people are being hypocrites here - We want you to be free, but we don't want you to be rich (at least not as rich as ourselves.

To RTFA... (3, Informative)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180124)

Username: jpmorgan
Password: chastise

courtesy of http://www.bugmenot.com/ [bugmenot.com]

Re:To RTFA... (1)

Obi-w00t (943426) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180156)

May blessings forever fall on whoever created bugmenot.com's head.
It's interesting we can speculate so much over China as a Communist state, but by the mere fact that we can speculate it means that China may be seeing winds of change. We know virtually nothing about North Korea, I've heard conflicting reports of 24Mb broadband being the standard and all forms of outside communication being banned. Apart from that I've only ever seen a programme from North Korean TV courtesy of Tarrant on TV which was just three kids jumping up and down nervously whilst subtitles informed us "these little flowers are filled with love for their emporer". I'm not saying that China will suddenly turn into a world-benchmark democracy overnight, but China may be on the road to reform in a similar way to the USSR through the cold war. This is a basic flaw of Communism, that the very first leader is put on such a pedastall that when a new leader is introduced people will probably reject him, but will still abide by the law. Eventually politicians and members of the population get sick of all the new leaders pretending to be as "good" as the first and will decide that Communism doesn't really seem to do the job that well, and they are better off with democracy. How long this process will take is anyone's guess. The difference with China is that their economy is booming so it will probably take a lot longer for Communism to be eradicated.

Communisim is not a technicality (2, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180132)

One thing that irritates me about this whole debate is the implicit assumption that China being Communist is just a technicality and not a big huge mega problem. People just pretend that the issue isn't there and just hope it will go away if they put their blinders on. They just go about "trying to do the best they can" while completely ignoring the nature of the big ugly hideous beast breating down their throat.

How do I know that all this talk about giving Chinees the "most freedom that we can" is all bullshit? Because the people saying it are not only censoring, but they are lying. None of them call it like it is, none of them dare say "hey your government is a piece of shit" for fear of offending the Chineese powers that be. Basically, it is a policy of appeasement and to see how it will play out - Chineese history shows very clearly, it will end in disaster.

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180143)

One thing that irritates me about this whole debate is the implicit assumption that China being Communist is just a technicality and not a big huge mega problem.

China is a capitalistic dictstorship. Sometimes a very brutal one, but definitely not Communist.

Re:Communism is a technicality (5, Interesting)

Confused (34234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180171)


One thing that irritates me about this whole debate is the implicit assumption that China being Communist is just a technicality and not a big huge mega problem. People just pretend that the issue isn't there and just hope it will go away if they put their blinders on. They just go about "trying to do the best they can" while completely ignoring the nature of the big ugly hideous beast breating down their throat.


Having some experience with eastern European countries during their communist regime, I can tell you it really is just a technicality for day to day live.

On one hand, people first and foremost are interested to live in peace and comfort and want to see their children doing the same. If they can achieve this, the philosophical aspects of the current emperor of the land is of no importance. On the other hand, if they can't they will damn whatever emperor makes their live miserable and at some point will seek to improve their lot by exchanging emperor.

For the less philosophical level this means: If you starve or are terrorised by the killer squads, you don't give shit about if those responsible are brandishing little red books or are the stoutest supporters of free capitalism.

This all leads to the simple conclusion, that communism (as much as capitalism or all other -isms) are just minor technicalities only mostly happy people with nothing better to do can worry about.

Re:Communism is a technicality (2, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180221)

This all leads to the simple conclusion, that communism (as much as capitalism or all other -isms) are just minor technicalities only mostly happy people with nothing better to do can worry about.

Philosophies like "statisim" and "libertarinisim" are not just some nice little philosophies that sit on the clouds. They involve belief systems, and these belief systems lead to chioces, and these choices have conesquences. If people don't care, it is only to the extent that they don't realise the consequences of their choices. Do the leaders at google, yahoo, and cisco really understand the consequences of their choices other then beyond the next quarterly report? It sure seems like they don't care, which means that we as customers must - or else.

Re:Communism is a technicality (2, Insightful)

dwater (72834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180328)

> Do the leaders at google, yahoo, and cisco really understand the consequences of their choices other then beyond the next quarterly report?

I know this is a tech forum, but please don't forget companies like MacDonalds and KFC, which are really (negativelty) effecting the health of the population. Get rid of them first, since they can't possibly do any good to anyone.

(IMO)

Re:Communism is a technicality (1)

lubricated (49106) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180416)

>> I know this is a tech forum, but please don't forget companies like MacDonalds and KFC, which are really (negativelty) effecting the health of the population.

Eating some fried chicken now and then never hurt anyone. It's the people that go to KFC and McDonalds daily that are hurting themselves.

Re:Communism is a technicality (1)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180810)

I thought that giving cheap food to the poor was a good thing...
There is a reason many people do not buy healthy food. If you want people to eat better, fix the macroeconomic problems that force them to make trade-offs in their health, instead of depriving them of choices.

Re:Communism is a technicality (1)

emilng (641557) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180985)

Do the leaders at google, yahoo, and cisco really understand the consequences of their choices other then[sic] beyond the next quarterly report?

I'm sure the leaders at google, yahoo and cisco understand the consequences. It's how they act given that they know and understand the consequences that is an issue.

It don't blame google for the way they acted. If you read the article, google chose not to provide services which would require personal information and content to be stored in china and they don't reroute traffic in china from google.com to google.cn. It's china that blocks google.com. I don't have anything nice to say about yahoo and cisco though. I don't have anything nice to say about narus either.

Is communism bad in theory or only in practice? (1)

KWTm (808824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180783)

Maybe someone can clarify to me what exactly is bad about communism. My understanding is that it is an impractical and unachievable ideal: everyone works and pools his/her resources, which are doled out based on need. So, I, with my enormous geekthinking brain, would write Free Software worth, say, $100 per hour, while my intellectual weakling brethren would issue parking tickets, doing work worth $5 per hour. But they would need their three beers a day (medical reasons, of course) which they can't really afford, so the government takes from the pool of money (well, not really money but economic value) including what I generate, and assign it to them since they really need it. But that's okay! Because I don't really *need* my $100 per hour; I'm enjoying a simple lifestyle anyway, so why not give the excess to those in need?

The impracticality comes from the fact that I would actually prefer to keep my $100 per hour, because it's MINE! Mine mine mine mine! Besides, if I live in a country with no government retirement plan or health benefits (which would not be the case in an ideally communist government), then I'd want to save it away as a nest egg. The other factor is that those in control of deciding who gets doled how much, would invariably value themselves higher and say, "Those in government get more."

Even here [wikipedia.org] I see only criticism of specific implementations of communism, rather than of communism itself. But the way the discussion goes on Slashdot sometimes, I get the sense that people feel that there are ideological and ethical problems even with an ideal implementation of communism, and I'm not sure what those are, so perhaps someone can explain. It's almost like communism was a trigger word, like "terrorism" or "child pornography" or the sound of a bell ringing.

Re:Is communism bad in theory or only in practice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180909)

The way I've always understood it is the same as you. Communism is a very nice idea, and would be wonderful. When that idea is implemented, the obvious problems of humans not being perfect comes to the forefront and the "evils of communism" appear.

Most people's idea of communism is generally synonymous with the USSR in my experience.

Re:Is communism bad in theory or only in practice? (1)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180915)

Ok, you are right that it is a grand ideal, but there are two main problems with communism.

The first one is that when any central authority gets the power to take and dole out money indiscriminately, they will be given large power over individuals, and even if originally a democracy, they would quickly pit interest groups against each other to gain complete totalitarian power.

That is a structural flaw of communism, one that is independent of implementation (except maybe anarco-communism).

the other flaw is that people take jobs with certain salaries in order to compensate for a certain amount of work, if you take a job for a 100k, and 80k is rerouted to a painter, then you will work only as if you had 20k. In addition, it stops people from taking jobs that would best benefit the economy. For example, in a capitalist economy, a lawyer who is also an excellent typist will become a lawyer because he can make more money (this is because the economy has a greater need and demand for lawyers). In a communist system, he will become a typist, as they make the same amount of money.

This is another structural flaw, the price of a product and the wage of a worker holds a message that tells people what the economy needs, and without it, the economy will eventually enter a period of stagnation and decay.

Re:Is communism bad in theory or only in practice? (2, Insightful)

Confused (34234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180943)

Maybe someone can clarify to me what exactly is bad about communism.

Very easy: The politicians, psychopaths, gangsters, opportunist and other power crazed animals that created regimes called communist across the world mostly made the live of the people of said courntries miserable. For this reason, communism has a really bad name. On top of that, it's a rather impractical philosophy which tends to ignore the way most current societies work, thus creating very quickly big gaps between theory and implementation.

A good part of the allure of communism was that it tried to distance itself as far as possible from capitalism and the atrocities that were commited in it's name in the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. But once people subscribed to this philosophy came to power, being the crooks they were, they just went on and committed the same kind of atrocites or worse.

In some countries (eg France, Italy), the communist parties are just are respected as other parties and they don't seem to be really doing worse only because of their philosophy. This could also be because those parties adopted a pragmatic line that doesn't seem to offend their voters.

In the end, it all boils down how a the members of those movements behave and their philosophical motivation ist just window dressing. Satanists caring for sick people to give them more time to sin and damn them to hell are a lot preferrable to devout christians torching gynecological clinics in the name of a rightous and loving god.

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180192)

Because the people saying it are not only censoring, but they are lying.

This sounds just like the sort of things that happen here. Lots of things are censored in 'free' countries just because some minority* groups don't like it.

Lying is second nature to politicians no matter where they come from.

Don't you think you should be worrying about the lies from your own government before critising others?

---

*or even majority groups... but what's the difference - it's still censorship.

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180242)

Don't you think you should be worrying about the lies from your own government before critising others?

Why is it that just because my own government is trying to act criminal should it mean that I need to stick a bag over my head and pretend that other governments aren't being criminal even moreso?

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180481)

Why is it that just because my own government is trying to act criminal should it mean that I need to stick a bag over my head and pretend that other governments aren't being criminal even moreso?

First, it's not illegal to lie. Nor is censorship illegal. What 'criminal' acts are you referring to?

Second, perhaps the Chinese people like their government. Why shouldn't they be allowed to have a government that pleases them? Perhaps they don't care about censorship, but they probably believe that it is for their own protection, just as certain censorships here are believed to be 'A Good Thing'.

At one extreme there is sticking a bag over your head and not even knowing what happens in other countries. At the other extreme there is invading them and forcing them to use a government system that you agree with. In the middle there is learning about other countries and accepting that things are different there, and that's OK.

China are growing economically, and very quickly, so they must be doing something right. Perhaps we could learn a few things from them. (See the next article about piracy in China and how they handle it without suing teenage girls).

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (2, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180231)

One thing that irritates me about this whole debate is the implicit assumption that China being Communist is just a technicality and not a big huge mega problem.

But it is. It's just a label, applied to lots of rather different governments really. There's not *that* much that are shared between say 1985 east-germany and present-day China, nevertheless the same label is slapped on both, which doesn't really enligthen anything much.

If anything, it serves to sidetrack the discussion from the real and important problems in China. There are lots of those, and they deserve attention. Attention that you remove if you insist the entire debate should run like this: "China government is Communist. This means they're bad."

Lack of respect for the human rigths is a problem. The few ruling the many without anything resembling a democracy is a problem. Corruption is a problem. All of these problems are, by the way, from an Europen perspective, shared with the USA. (Yes, I'll agree that China is *worse* when it comes to human-rigths violations, however the Amensty international page on USA is also not pleasant reading...)

How do I know that all this talk about giving Chinees the "most freedom that we can" is all bullshit?

I don't know how you "know" that. I strongly suspect it ain't true. It's true without a shadow of a doubt that chinese, particularily those living in the more modern cities have *enormously* much better access to western news and communications today than they did 10 years ago. You're free to consider this real improvement irrelevant and go back to shouting "Communists!" offcourse.

None of them call it like it is, none of them dare say "hey your government is a piece of shit" for fear of offending the Chineese powers that be.

No. Not for that reason. For the reason that realists care about *results*. I generally talk politely to Americans, try to *reasonably* explain what problems I see in their foreign policy. I do this because I consider it more likely to achieve my wanted result than acting like a crazed nutjob and trying to insult as many people as I can. What would be practical *benefits* for say Bush to spend his next meeting with someone chinese saying as many bad words as he can think of ? What would that acomplish ? Would it make the human-rigths situation in China improve ?

Basically, it is a policy of appeasement and to see how it will play out - Chineese history shows very clearly, it will end in disaster.

That's possible. But it's also possible china will continue on the path it's been on for the last decade or two and contine getting more open, continue tolerating more and more free expression, continue basically, in the direction we want them to go.

What's your solution by the way ? Invade tomorrow ?

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180341)

But it is. It's just a label, ...

By saying that China is "communist", what I am saying is that their political system is being held accountable to forces that are NOT in the interest of peoples liberty, or that temper abuses of government. The US had slaves on the plantation too, but accountability to fundamental political forces changed that as society moved on. Where are those forces in China? Answer, there are none other than from us and from resistance in China that we should not be helping the Chineese governemnt quell.

I don't know how you "know" that. I strongly suspect it ain't true. It's true without a shadow of a doubt that chinese, particularily those living in the more modern cities have *enormously* much better access to western news and communications today than they did 10 years ago. You're free to consider this real improvement irrelevant and go back to shouting "Communists!" offcourse.

Many of these changes were forced as people in China stood up to the Chineese government, now American businesses come in and don't want to stand up to the Chineese government. We had better, or the goose that has laid the golden egg will get killed.

.... I generally talk politely to Americans, try to *reasonably* explain what problems I see in their foreign policy. I do this because I consider it more likely to achieve my wanted result than acting like a crazed nutjob and trying to insult as many people as I can. What would be practical *benefits* for say Bush to spend his next meeting with someone chinese saying as many bad words as he can think of ? What would that acomplish ? Would it make the human-rigths situation in China improve ?

Ok fine, they don't need to say the Chineese government is a "piece of shit", ... as if I literally ment they should say that anyhow. But as long as people refuse to insist that the problem IS the Chineese governemnt and act accordingly then they are helping noone.

What's your solution by the way ? Invade tomorrow ?

The solution for now is simply to not appease the Chineese government.

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (1)

kemichail (965347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180831)

"The solution for now is simply to not appease the Chineese government." A little unrealistic. We currently have a 200 billion trade deficit with China. China recently became the 4th largest economy in the world. Here is what worries me: when political leaders come to the U.S. (Mr. HU of China) and their first stop is at buisness leader's homes (Bill Gates) and not with heads of state (GW Bush).... that leads me to believe the power dynamic has shifted rather significantly AWAY from our heads of state and TO them. Not appeasing them the solution? I think you should flip the power equation on it's head. We are losing the capability to require anything of them.

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180989)


Those are compelling arguments for changing some things at home, not for sticking our head in the sand about China's police state. That 200 bln trade deficit is the punishment we get for using paper money instead of real money (eg gold), and that business shift to china is the punishment we get for having a welfare state. If we didn't have one, we would have no resistance to bringing in cheap labor so they could build the factories here, but today we can't do that because if we did they would all come here and sign up for freebies coerced at everyone elses expense and kill us.

I have no doubt that the US economy is getting ready to fall off a hyperinflationary debt cliff, but when it does it will probably kill they paper money system and kill the welfare state leaving us in a reasonably good competitive position to use real money and open the immigration flood gates.

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (2, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181173)

I wasn't advocating sticking anyones head anywhere.

I was saying China seems to be going in the rigth direction, and has for a number of years. This is a trend we should encourage and support. We want China to *continue* becoming more open, less corrupted, better living-conditions, more freedoms. We acomplish this best (I think!) by;

Cooperating with them.

AND making it clear what kind if improvements we'd most like to see.

Rather than by scaling back the deabte to the point where it's black/white, good/bad, we heroes/China "piece of shit".

I agree we should continue to point out human-rigths abuses and the missing democracy. I just think we can do so more constructively than: You all suck !

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181350)

....Cooperating with them.....

Cooperating with who? Yahoo was not cooperating with the chineese people when they turned over a dissidnet to be thrown in jail. There is a big difference between cooperating with an oppressive government vs a people who are oppressed.

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (1)

kemichail (965347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181234)

Personally I believe that much as Dictatorships during the previous century often tilled the soil for the seeding of representative democracies, China's current 'state-capitalist' system (as another /.'er posted in this thread) will eventually follow suit. The key will be for us to promote it slowly by appylying pressure through trade negotiations.

Welfare and immigration impact our economy but hardly in the strict terms you draw. There's far worse - such as governmental support for problematic initiatives led by U.S. multinationals promoted through the lobby system - that hurt us far more.

Here is a good quote:

"This administration and the Republican-led Congress have permitted the dismantling of America's manufacturing base and created a dependency on China for our clothing, computers, consumer electronics and a host of other products that is greater than our dependency on foreign oil...
And remember, there's a reason President Hu met with business leaders in Seattle first. He obviously knows who's really in charge of this country."
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/04/19/dobbs.hu/index.ht ml [cnn.com]

While there are compelling reasons to meddle in China's political affairs - it is after all something we seem to be very good at - we are slowly finding ourselves in a position where we can no longer dictate the terms. It's our ECONOMY that is our strongest weapon, and the failures of our economy can't simply be attributed to providing 'welfare' or lax immigration laws. We should be pursuing policies that will strengthen our ability to leverage our economy to promote those 'human rights' through trade as the U.S. traditionally has done. We most certainly need 'more' protectionism - not less as Mr. Hu would ask.

Between it's assets, capital, and pure population, pretty soon, if not already, China will be dictating the terms on which WE can trade with THEM. And I'd like to see how they respond then to requests from the U.S. that they become more 'democratic'...

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181147)

what I am saying is that their political system is being held accountable to forces that are NOT in the interest of peoples liberty

Absolutely. As are the political systems of every nation I can think of.

Ok, fine, perhaps not in principle accountable to, but at the very least in *practice* run pretty much according to the will of those forces. Is the Patriot Act "in the interest of peoples liberty" ? How about the DMCA ? How about the Micky-Mouse act? How about the recent suggestion to imprison people who show breasts on homepages without adequate government-approved warnings ? How about the respect being shown for fundamental liberties (such as: no punishment without conviction; no conviction without a fair trial and showing beyond reasonable doubt that the person is guilty) on Guantanamo ?

Yes. China IS worse in just about every of these aspects. But it's still a matter of degree more than a matter of principal differences.

Also please note that I use American examples not because Europe doesn't have enough such examples of our own, we most certainly do. I use American examples because, from experience, most Americans are not familiar with the most horrible human-rigths abuses and cutbacks on liberty in Europe. (possible exception for cameras in the UK, which everyone seems to know about)

My intention ain't to say the USA is particularily bad, certainly you're far far better off than China when it comes to personal liberties. My intention is to point out that it really is a matter of more good, or more bad, and not a matter of one side (us, westerners) being the "good guys" and the other guys (in this case China) being the "bad guys". We've got far far too much rubbish in our own back-yard for that view of reality to carry much weigth. (outside of Bush-speaches and Foxnews coverage)

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180290)

You're making a false claim-by-association. China's Human Rights problems are not because it is a "communist" country. They are because it is a dictatorship that doesn't account for the common interest of its people.

Communism and capitalism are economic systems; dictatorships and democracy are political systems.

I'll leave it there.

- RG>

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (4, Interesting)

liangzai (837960) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180348)

Communism is the dictatorial power of the people through a proletarian revolution. There never was a proletarian revolution in China, for the simple reason China didn't have a proletariat. The revolution in China was agrarian, and the system implemented was Maoism, which isn't anywhere near communism except for the fact that the state took over all the private property.

Since 1978 China is essentially a state-capitalist dictatorship with local (and primitive) democracy, with remaining socialism only on the countryside (state-owned farms leased to farmers). The state-owned property has largely been returned to private interests, and nowhere in the world will you find as many privately owned businesses as in China.

China of today is communist only by name, and this won't change because the party needs to pretend it is implementing "socialism with Chinese characteristics" instead of capitalism, because the party was founded on a Marxist-Leninist basis.

China of today is thus as much communist as North Korea is democratic ("People's Democratic Republic of Korea") or East Germany was democratic ("Deutsche Democratische Republik"). Why is this so incredibly hard for Americans to understand?

Please repeat after me: China is a state-capitalist dictatorship. There you go! Now when you know the basics, perhaps you will be able to discuss the problems of China with some more credibility.

Re:Communisim is not a technicality (1)

Shisha (145964) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180587)

China of today is thus as much communist as North Korea is democratic ("People's Democratic Republic of Korea") .

This reminds me of a joke which used to be rather popular some years ago. It goes something like:

Do you know what the difference between "democracy" and "people's democracy" is?
...

Well, it's really the same difference as between a "jacket" and a "strait jacket."

That about sums it up. (4, Insightful)

Peyna (14792) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180135)

Near the end of the first page, Lee sums up the attitude on both sides of the Pacific pretty well: "I don't think they care that much. I think people would say: 'Hey, U.S. democracy, that's a good form of government. Chinese government, good and stable, that's a good form of government. Whatever, as long as I get to go to my favorite Web site, see my friends, live happily.'"

It's nice to know the Chinese are as apathetic about their government as we are in the U.S.

Re:That about sums it up. (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180212)

Humans are apathetic about their government. Who cares WHAT system is on top, as long as it's one that doesn't upset what you like?

Re:That about sums it up. (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180217)

Yes, but if that is all he wants to do, then doing that will mean he's happy.
What is happiness really? What makes you happy? You only want the ability to criticise your government because you think you might need it.

Not just apathetic (2, Interesting)

Nazmun (590998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180384)

I've got a an extremely smart female chinese friend who goes to MIT. We agree on most things in life but the one thing we totally disagree on (I used get slightly fumed about it) is that she supports her government fully. "The chinese population is far larger", "You need a government like this", "It's run more efficiently and there is less fighting in the government", are things you'd here from her.

I am far from being in agreement but I can after a year almost come to an understanding of why she feels this way. I was initially surprised as she did move here during about middle school.

Re:Not just apathetic (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180433)

One thing is certain: I have come to approve of dictatorship recently.

Democracy is the goverment of the people, for the people... and we all know Sturgeon's Law.

Re:Not just apathetic (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181002)

Has it occurred to you that the Chinese people who have the money to move to the U.S. are probably doing pretty well? The poor people who can't afford to move probably have a very different opinion. A few months ago, I believe, there was some video smuggled out of China. It was of farmers violently being removed from their land. They would certainly disagree with your friend's opinion of the Chinese government. When you are a-ok, it's true that you don't care about who or what your government is. But in a democratic system, WHEN things go wrong for you, there is at least a means for peacefully having your voice heard. The Chinese don't have that luxury.

Re:Not just apathetic (3, Interesting)

dfjghsk (850954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181324)

did it ever occur to you that she feels that way because she does not have to live under the Chinese government?

It's all the same to her:
1) she isn't being persecuted by the U.S. gov.
2) she isn't being persecuted by the Chinese gov.

Of course, 2 is only because she (and her family) had the money to leave.

In China things are certainly different. There is a large (and growing) number of people who are upset with their government:

Number of mass protests in China:
2004: 74,000 [washingtonpost.com]
2005: 80,000 [washingtonpost.com]

And these are official numbers.. released by the Chinese government. Feel free to lookup numbers for the past several years.. you'll see the number of protests are growing each year.

So who are the protesters? Almost all of them are Peasants. Those who are the poorest, also happen to have the fewest rights.

So ask yourself: when was the last time you saw that many protests in the U.S.? When was the last time you saw the poor protesting because of their treatment?

Yeah, it's all the same to her..... as long as she doesn't have to live there.

Meh, it's just a matter of time (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180141)

before the Chinese government gets its hands on this technology anyway [www.cbc.ca] .

Make way for zhoogle!

Re:Meh, it's just a matter of time (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180153)

before the Chinese government gets its hands on this technology anyway.
Make way for zhoogle!
not zhoogle, but baidu [baidu.com] .

Re:Meh, it's just a matter of time (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180274)

Zhoogle was a joke. If you didn't get it then, you probably won't if I explain it to you...

Re:Meh, it's just a matter of time (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180327)

I zhidn't zhet it

Re:Meh, it's just a matter of time (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180517)

Go on. Please explain it. I live in China. I should get it.

Re:Meh, it's just a matter of time (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181067)

Put the Putonghua(sorry, my pinyin sucks) word for "China" into pinyin....

Is this some kind of joke? (2, Funny)

Life700MB (930032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180148)


The same URL from the same editor with a differente blurb: only in slashdot [slashdot.org] .


--
Superb hosting [tinyurl.com] 20GB Storage, 1_TB_ bandwidth, ssh, $7.95

Circular hypocrisy (2, Insightful)

Mofaluna (949237) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180149)

According to the article the chinese internet excutives' point of view is that censorship isn't an issue sinse chinese aren't interested in the censored content anyway. Makes you wonder why there's so much effort put into censoring it in the first place...

you Fail It.$. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180154)

Long Term survival another cunting

Wrong Title? (2, Insightful)

slashbob22 (918040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180203)

Shouldn't the title read: "China's Google Problem"?

I realize that Google is trying to enter a new market, but I wouldn't be surprised if China really wanted Google there too -- on their terms of course.

Let's publish a list of some of the banned sites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180211)

(Subject sez it all, folks...)

the tank man (5, Interesting)

rchatterjee (211000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180214)

A recent PBS|Frontline documentary covered how the Chinese government has gone about censoring one major event from its past including on the internet, it's free to view online:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tankman/ [pbs.org]

Graduated Censorship Does Occur Here (3, Insightful)

m2bord (781676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180225)

Only in this country, censorship is not done in the name of the government. It's done almost solely to "protect" children or those with weak sensativities. I don't necessarily agree with the idea but I am saying that it does exist here.

Dupe (1)

aliosha (205959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180227)

'nuff said.
I was hoping to read a DIFFERENT article, from the one of last week.
Oh well...

Censorship not just in China (3, Interesting)

danratherfoe (915756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180253)

Not only is google participating in censorship in China, they are also involved in some activities in the U.S. which are disquieting. For example, they have been documented (see link http://www.infowars.com/articles/sept11/sheen_goog le_censoring_story_again.htm [infowars.com] on at least two occasions not indexing important alternative news stories, such as the one on Charlie Sheen's 9/11 comments above. Insomuch as they fail to index an important story which has been heavily visited and linked to, it is clear that they are engaging in de-facto censorship.

censoring is not the real problem (3, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180270)

Censoring is a red-herring. If the citizens can not get to the info, then Google is only focused on what they can get to. In addition, Google notifies them that it is censored, where MS and Yahoo do not even bother.

The real problem is the use of the services for finding and punishing citizens. Microsoft and Yahoo have been turning over any and all information to govs. with a glee in their eye and $ in the checkbook. In fact, in the most recent episode, Yahoo turned over a DRAFT of an e-mail. This is not something that went out to the general public. It was not used anywhere. It was simply thoughts that are now being used against ppl. Yahoo/Microsoft will hang their head while crossing their fingers and winking their eye.

In contrast, Google has so far fought against American Gov ( and other govs. including chinese) about releasing any information that can be used in this way. Google did release info concerning ONLY child porn, but nothing that allowed a witch hunt by our admin. And so far, it does not appear that Google is releasing info about what individuals do.

But I have to wonder, how soon before Google does turn evil and starts releasing. Once they do, they will be heading down a very slippery and steep slope, that will force them to join the likes of Yahoo, Microsoft, Enron, etc. in names that are now synonymous with evil.

I don't think you get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180589)

Google hasn't turned anything over either because the government hasn't asked or simply because it wasn't publicized. If you annoy the government, the police come and harass your executives. If you outright defy the government (say, by refusing to release documents as required by a court order), they probably come and arrest your executives, probably torturing them. China doesn't have "due process" or prevent "cruel and unusual punishment".

You would have trouble recruiting executives for your company if you required them to uphold policies that would get them arrested and tortured without a trial.

Remember, Google was blocked comletely. Chinese people could only get access to Google if they set up an office in China, and having an office in China means obeying the laws in China.

dom

Mongolian Cow Sour Yogurt Super Girl Contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180295)

That totally sounds like a great name for a new band.

Google: "at the top", Yahoo: "a sellout" (4, Interesting)

Froomb (100183) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180470)

From TFA:

I expected [famed political blogger] Zhao [Jing] to be much angrier with the American Internet companies than he was. He was surprisingly philosophical. He ranked the companies in order of ethics, ticking them off with his fingers. Google, he said, was at the top of the pile. It was genuinely improving the quality of Chinese information and trying to do its best within a bad system. . . . Yahoo came last, and Zhao had nothing but venom for the company.

"Google has struck a compromise," he said, and compromises are sometimes necessary. Yahoo's behavior, he added, put it in a different category: "Yahoo is a sellout. Chinese people hate Yahoo." The difference, Zhao said, was that Yahoo had put individual dissidents in serious danger and done so apparently without thinking much about the human damage.


A useful perspective from one of the internet celebrities in China. I hope Yahoo appreciates all the good publicity its actions in China are garnering.

Side-by-Side Comparison (4, Insightful)

Hootenanny (966459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180482)

Do two quick searches to see for yourself, the difference between google.com and google.cn. These links refer to the image search on the U.S. and Chinese Google pages, respectively.

http://images.google.com/ [google.com]

http://www.google.cn/imghp?hl=zh-CN&tab=wi&q= [google.cn]

Search for "Tiananmen" on both sites and notice the *significant* difference in content returned by each.

censorship censored (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15180524)

Did anyone note that a feature of the censorship system itself is that the censored system is not accessible from the outside. So the censorship is not visible (=censored) to visitors outside china: this goes both ways and prevents an evaluation of the censorship itself. If you try to access google.cn from outside china, back you are to google.com. Smart, really.

Ideals... (1, Interesting)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180560)

American Ideals and American reality are two different things. It's easy to say "Censorship in all forms is wrong", but as we see on this site on a regular basis, just because a nation has an ideal doesn't mean it will live up to them when push comes to shove.

Google in China can't display results about democracy. Google in America can't display results about Scientology. Same shit, different pile.

Non registration link. (3, Informative)

antdude (79039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180710)

Click here [nytimes.com] .

Remember that Censorship does exist at home too (0)

ivec (61549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180756)

Seen from Europe, US news have been so incredibly single-sided when it comes to War on Terror or Irak.
And how often have you seen body bags coming back from Irak on national television?

And Europe is no better: the press was proudly displaying the Caricatures of the prophet Muhammad, boasting about how they support freedom of expression. Yet how many of those newspapers would accept to publish a carricature combining the Christ, the Holocaust, and phallic symbols.

Can we conceive that for muslim communities, displaying a representation of their prophet is just as unacceptable as using 4-letter words in the US?
I wish they would not cause riots because of this, on the other hand they don't have the means to muzzle our mass media as other communities can.

Of course, you are less likely to be shot if you speak out a diverging opinion in the occident than in other parts of the world. But you might well be committing social or economic suicide by speaking up.
This ensures that the media, who have tremendous control over what we see or hear, just won't let it happen.

I don't want to defend Chinese policies, or put the blame on anyone. I just wish that all of our societies were enriched by more open debates, feeding a more intelligent understanding of opposed points of views.

Re:Remember that Censorship does exist at home too (1)

madcow_bg (969477) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180911)

Yes, Europe IS different ... The whole shitty caricatures weren't even funny ... although the one with the heaven-running-out-of-virgins made me ROTFL. :)))

The bottom line is that you should be allowed to speak your opinion. If you are commiting social suicide, don't speak? What the hell do you want to speak for if nobody takes into account what you say? But giving to the government DRAFTS? Man, I will never go there...

If you think Europeans put up with the shit you watch on TV, then you are sadly mistaken, my friend. We don't. Not on our national television, at least. And Iraq? Is there somewhere someone so inevitably dumb who doesn't know you bastards did it for the petrol? I'll stick to Europe.

They're already selling them cheap elsewhere (0, Offtopic)

CaptainVoid (970051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180796)

They're already selling them cheap elsewhere I am in Latvia right now on a Fulbright. One of the "big" supermarkets in Riga sells DVDs for 1-2 lats. (1 lat = $1.75). I only get Latvian and Russian cable so I will take what I can get. Typical movies like: "The Chronicles of Riddick," "Underworld," "Resident Evil," etc. are one Lat. Latvia is an EU country so these are clearly NOT pirated. Of course the per capita income is lower than in the US but higher than China by far (no real piracy problem of course), the price is very reasonable locally since a movie, the opera, etc is about 10 Lats. I almost never buy DVDs in the U.S. because the price is not worth paying for a movie that might suck. I do not go to movies for the same reason. My local public library has a great selection of CDs risk free, however, and you can buy a whole season of something good (B5, CSI, etc.) for 40 bucks. Anyway, I have bought dozens of them since I arrived. The last time I bought a video in the U.S. was at least five ago. Since I can get used videos for five bucks in many places (or free at the library), why should I give the industry a penny more? Now they can make something from me -- since the prices are reasonable. As many have pointed out here, if they lowered the price (like that booze in the mini bar in the hotel), many people who do not buy would start buying and piracy would be pointless. Same principle as the boneheads who bitched about outlawing smoking in bars and then discovered that the young people and bar crowd still goes out but now so do the non smokers. Go figure.

Re:They're already selling them cheap elsewhere (1)

sarcasticfrench (949383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15180970)

Umm... Wrong article dude. This one's about censorship in china. :)

Censorship in other places (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181039)

...a very informative look at how censoring is actually done in China

It's getting harder to find things on Google here in the U.S.A.

"lengthy but informative"? Huh? (1)

kongjie (639414) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181066)

Shouldn't that be lengthy and informative?

This is one of the problems with the age of the blog/web page/snippet, and it's one of the reasons that publications like the Times aren't irrelevant yet. And it's also one of the big reasons that the half-hour television news program is a farce.

For some stories/ideas/reports, you can't boil everything down to three nicely CSS-formatted ample white space-surrounding paragraphs.

Are you suggesting that despite the informative nature of the piece that slashdotters might not want to read it because the learning experience would take too long?

TROOLKORE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15181319)

you.^u The tireless

It's just America's China problem (2, Insightful)

Damek (515688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15181383)

Google is just having to deal with a situation brought on by decades of meddling by American business elites in the affairs between America and China China's government and American interests employ PR firms which harness former government officials like Henry Kissinger to lobby Congress and the American people in support of trade rules that result in major exporting of jobs and materials, along with turning a blind eye to Chinese human rights and environmental transgressions (also much to the delight of American business, whose interests are often at odds with democracy and the public interest). I find it interesting how Google is walking the line here...
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