Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blodget Is Wrong on China and Google

Business Insider's founder Henry Blodget has a comment out today that says Google is wrong about China. He writes:
Enterprising Chinese citizens get access every day to the full Internet the rest of the world enjoys, including the uncensored

The Chinese government actually doesn't pay much attention to them: It concentrates its efforts on targeting celebrity dissidents and taking firm stands against companies like Google.
Blodget thinks Google went too far in its painting of the censhorship problem in China as black and white.

The Blodget link to an NYT story about some techie in China, who "scales the digital wall", appears to be the beginning and end to Blodgett's understanding of how easy or difficult access is to the entire internet for those living in China.

My experience is different. For reasons unknown (I rarely write about China), is blocked in China. Roughly a year agoafter it started being blocked, former EPJ readers in China contacted me in an attempt to find a work around so that they coulfd read EPJ, again.

A number of options were tried but they all failed. Thus, for the average Chinese reader, censorship of world internet sites is probably very significant. If EPJ is banned, I can't imagine we are alone. And the average internet user is not using whatever workaround the NYT featured techie is supposedly using. Further, there is something in the NYT story that leads me to believe that the techie may not be getting complete access as is implied. (I don't want to go into details for fear of cluing Chinese censors of how certain sites can really get through.)

As for NYT, one never really knows what their agenda is up to when they print "all the news that's fit to print", but my experience is that censorship of internet sites is a far more serious problem than NYT would lead you to believe, or that Blodget is suggesting.

Whatever Google's purpose was for the anti-censorship statement it made, the outcome is a good one for the Chinese people. It had to send at least a significant tremor that was felt by the people and by China's ruling elite, and for that Google needs to be applauded. It is a push toward less internet censorship in China. It may take some time, but you never forget a significant tremor.


  1. I find the Business Insider to be full of Henry Blodget's lefty musings and generally reminds me of Entertainment Tonight or the WS Gawker. The rabid anti-free market commentors clue one into the true content of this blog....but I assume BI is successful w/o suckling @ the taxpayer's wallet.

  2. Maybe try the Mises Institute. According to Jeff Tucker, has blog hosting capabilities that share the site's secure, encrypted features. So a user accessing the site is anonymous and does not show up in their logs. Plus the site can be mirrored and hosted on other domains so that it doesn't even appear that a user is accessing the site, but they can continue to receive the content. Might be worth looking into if you want China people to check out EPJ.