The Wild Web of China: Sex and Drugs, Not Reform – David Barboza

 Images 2006 03 07 Business China.583.1 From The New York Times (link):

By some estimates, there are more than 30,000 people patrolling the Web in China, helping to form one of the world’s far-reaching Internet filtering systems.

But while China’s huge Internet police force is busy deleting annoying phrases like “free speech” and “human rights” from online bulletin boards, specialists say that Wild West capitalism has moved from the real economy in China to the virtual one.

Indeed, the unchecked freedoms that exist on the Web, analysts say, are perhaps unwittingly ushering in an age of startling social change. The Web in China is a thriving marketplace for everyone, including scam artists, snake oil salesmen and hard-core criminals who are only too eager to turn consumers into victims.

Chinese entrepreneurs who started out brazenly selling downloadable pirated music and movies from online storefronts have extended their product lines ” peddling drugs and sex, stolen cars, firearms and even organs for transplanting.

March 7, 2006 4:41 PM
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