Can You Yahoo Safely in China? – Seattle Times
Yahoo’s apology and financial settlement with the families of two prisoners in China are warnings to American business. Ethical behavior does not begin and end with the law.
That is not a lesson confined to China, but it may be easier to see through a Chinese lens. In China, the state reserves the right to control information. A U.S. company that offers Internet service there has to follow China’s rules. One rule is screening out anti-government messages from Internet search requests. Type in “Tiananmen Square” to google.com and google.cn, its Chinese page, and you will get politically different results. Some such compromises are necessary to operate in China. It is better for Yahoo to offer a service that is 90 percent of the real thing than zero ” better for Yahoo and better for China.
But it cannot be right for a business to join in the political persecution of its customers. [Full Text]
[Image: Gao Qin Sheng, mother of Shi Tao, a Chinese reporter who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for leaking state secrets, cries as Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang (left) testifies before a congressional committee hearing. from Reuters, via theage.com.au]