Net Nanny Follies
Posted by Max Roberts on Monday, March 29, 2010 at 9:16 PM
From China Digital Times:
Below is a translation of the text of the article originally published on Netease. The original text is archived here.
Four senior Internet executives including Ma Huateng complain
The recent internet crackdown has resulted in not only hundreds and thousands of small and medium sized sites being closed down, but has also given some Internet heavyweights something to say. In a public conference on the 27th of March, four senior executives - Ma Huateng of QQ, Wang Zhidong of Sina.com.cn, Ding Jian of GSR ventures, and Wang Weijia of MTone Wireless - expressed their dissatisfaction over the "one size fits all" approach to Internet monitoring, and that it should be changed. Wang and Ding suggested that Shenzhen should be turned into an "Special Zone" with regard to internet monitoring.
Wang Weijia said that to an online company, fair and equal competition was most important, and that of the hundreds of thousands of sites closed down, some were probably from big names like Alibaba, QQ or Baidu.
Ma Huateng added in his address that because monitoring is so easy, a one-size-fits-all approach is used, especially since Shenzhen is so far south, far away from the seat of politics Beijing.
Wang Zhidong said that the problem was that while China's four hundred million netizens needed monitoring, that the Internet needed to be revolutionary, and a continually innovating industry.
Ding said in his address that the internet had to encourage innovation, and allow people to make mistakes.
According to Wang Zhidong, the best way to address the difficult problem of monitoring the Internet and its innovation was Shenzhen. He said, "Shenzhen has always had had Special Zone status in its culture and blood. Addressing the impasse between Internet innovation and the current monitoring system would no doubt be extremely difficult, but would Shenzhen, as a Special Zone, not be a good testing ground?"
Ding Jian's suggestions were bolder. He suggested that Shenzhen become a Special Zone where the Internet would be "completely free. [We should] see whether a completely free Internet would be come more chaotic, or if something else would happen, and through this a monitoring system more suitable to China could be found.
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