Getting it right when it concerns China and the internet is not easy, but media-watcher Jeremy Goldkorn of Danwei gives it a good shot. Yes, there are unprecedented constraints on the internet in China, but they were triggered of when the close to 400 million internet users in the country took equally unprecedented freedom, he tells Sfgate.
“In the last year … the liberal elements, the forces for change on the Internet have become more vocal and better at using tools like Twitter than they ever were,” said Jeremy Goldkorn, founder of Danwei.org, a blog about Chinese media and urban life. “But this has been met with sort of the biggest sustained clampdown on the Internet that we’ve seen for years.”
Google threat to leave China, unless it can work uncensored, has drawn massive attention, and a prompt refusal by the Chinese central government to give in. According to Goldkorn, here in the Money Times, Google is asking for a special treatment, giving it an advantage over its domestic competitor Baidu:
“Baidu does face the same censorship issues, but without the corporate culture that resents censorship.”