Microsoft & China

kinnon —  June 13, 2005 — Leave a comment

Under a banner of the need to do business in China, Microsoft’s MSN/China joint venture is creating a firestorm of criticism for their apparent kowtowing to Beijing’s Communist regime. The Financial Times describes the MSN censorship.

Attempts to input words in Chinese such as "democracy" prompted an error message from the site: "This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item." Other phrases banned included the Chinese for "demonstration", "democratic movement" and "Taiwan independence".

It was possible to enter such words within blogs created using MSN Spaces, but the move to block them from the more visible section of the site highlights the willingness of some foreign internet companies to tailor their services to avoid upseting China’s Communist government.

Scoble comments here. Roger Simon comments here. Personally I’m disgusted with Microsoft. In a hit of synchronicity, Mark Stein has an interesting article on China.

UPDATE June 14th – CNET has an article on how Microsoft is Passing the Buck!
And Terry Heaton adds more.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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