Could China’s Online Censorship Cripple Business?

China has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It also has one of the strictest censorship laws in the world. In addition to that, they just passed another online censorship law. Could China’s online censorship cripple business?

So effective November 7, China signs a new cyber security law. It tightens the noose on online companies and how they operate. It requires online companies to register customers’ real names and real personal information. Also, it blocks ‘prohibited’ content. Furthermore, they require localized data within the Chinese borders. But that’s not all. Companies must report all network security issues to the government. It doesn’t matter if they can fix it on their own. And another thing: Companies are to provide tech support during government investigations, whether they want to or not. There are other laws too.

So you know the global response is swift and harsh. An advocacy group called Human Rights Watch vehemently opposes China’s new measures. They complain the law isn’t clear enough. The international group says this puts hundreds of millions under stricter state control. But it gets worse. This new law forbids certain content. One illegal phrase includes, “overthrowing the socialist system”. That tells me something. That should tell you something. In China, many have a computer, tablet and smartphone. Also, many have all of the above. Many in the country love their social media, and now they have to watch what they say? Isn’t this bad for business?

The Human Rights Watch is on point. These laws are vague. When laws are vague, they can be twisted. For example: ‘Overthrowing the socialist system’ could mean anything anti-Chinese government. That’s a problem. Can you imagine a law like that here? I can’t . I hope I never have to.? But what about the big companies who work in China? What about Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and other tech giants who depend on China’s growth? It’s no secret these companies are in deep with the Chinese government. So what will they do? Will they use their power to fight such oppressive laws? Or will they give in to the Chinese government just to keep their bottom line in tact? What would you do?

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