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June 14, 2005




Hans Suter

Maybe Scoble wants to tell us that he isn't free to blog ?

Albert Tanutama

hi Rebecca, I commented in scoble's blogs that there's a fine line between limiting and restricting. Microsoft has created a software that promotes freedom of speech, but they are required to limit the software according to the local culture. I consider it as a sign of respect to the local culture. However, if microsoft created a software, specifically, to restrict the freedom of speech in order to get a business, that I will consider as not putting the money where your mouth is.


Microsoft word is an export, and every dollar China spends on Microsoft products is money that flows into our economy.

Furthermore, Microsoft provides a product, they are not defenders of democracy. It's not like they're providing arms. Besides, isn't it preferable to make China depend on an American corporation, instead of encourage them to be self-sufficient and develop useful products on their own? As long as China is dependent on us for basic technology, they will not be a threat.


I think you mean "respect for the local government," Albert. I think the whole point of Rebecca's post is that the local government's aims are not necessarily those of the individuals who make up the local culture.

More generally, one can justify all sorts of things as "respect for local culture," from racial and religious discrimination to stoning of homosexuals. That doesn't make those things right. If you're willing to sacrifice your stated values in the interests of business, then you have just demonstrated to the world that business is your only value.


At the same time you say "But to state that Chinese students and professors have an "anti-free-speech stance" is the biggest pile of horseshit about China I've come across in quite some time." you also says "In my experience, most Chinese, like all other human beings I've ever met, would very much like to have freedom of speech." and "What they don't want is to lose their jobs and educational opportunities by pushing too hard at the restrictions their government has placed on their ability to speak". Well , you just said the anti-free-speech stance is a "pile of horseshit" but you just confirms what you said down on the post ... If they like to have freedom of speech is because they don't have , and if they don't want to lose their jobs and educational opportunities by pushing the restrictions their government has placed they have an ANTI-FREE-SPEECH STANCE ...

Robert Scoble

Hans: I'm free to blog whatever I like. The fact that I link to those who disagree with me proves that.


I think Robert is free enough on blogging, but maybe not so free on thinking of the whole thing. As a Chinese blogger, I'd say how painful we are to do blogging under the shadow of "self-policing" that Robert may never feel.

Even just from technical view, Robert may understand how evil to tell a word is "illegal" or "legal". Is there any word a natural born criminal?

In this case, MS is definitely a conspiracy to "anti-free-speech" and even far more than gov like to see. So suspicious that it's a flattering behavior for some other goals?

About those "professors" and "students" Robert talked with before. I don't think they were talking to you from heart inside. People there are accustomed to tell foreigners how great my country is and try to hide any real feelings. And most importantly, the academic atmosphere in China is too "unified" today to be referenced.


Craig,you are mistaken. China will knock off Microsoft's software and mass produce it. Microsoft will be lucky if they recoup their initial development cost.

American manufacturers who have been foolish enough to move their operations to China have had to contend with China setting up a factory down the road from them, producing the same product, before they've barely opened their doors.

The Chinese Government doesn't subscribe to the notion of "intellectual property". Just ask the music industry.

Other than that, I hope the Chinese will have Internet free speech someday, like we have (for now).


"Microsoft has created a software that promotes freedom of speech, but they are required to limit the software according to the local culture. I consider it as a sign of respect to the local culture."

Albert, the problem with this is that the local culture is whatever the communist party says it is. People don't generally hire government officials to keep them silent because they want to shut up but some possessing demon won't let them.

Also, nice picture Rebecca! I'm usually against the torture of a female invading my space, but think I could come around to it.

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