Is YouTube a time bomb for Google in China? – William Moss

From CNET Asia:

…… is loaded with material calculated to annoy the Chinese Government. Search YouTube for “Tian’anmen Square” for a demonstration. As anyone who uses Blogspot, the BBC or, until recently Wikipedia, knows, the Chinese Government’s standard reaction is to block sites that have too much objectionable content. Many seasoned China Internet watchers are surprised that YouTube has stayed under the radar for as long as it has. “A matter of time”, was how one recently described the potential blocking of YouTube.

Here’s hoping that he and I are both proved wrong. Among other things, the popularity of local video-sharing sites may deflect attention from YouTube. But what if we’re not wrong, and the Chinese Government does block YouTube? When YouTube was Chad and Steve’s goofy independent site, that wouldn’t have been a big deal. Now that it’s part of the media empire, it could be a very big deal. It wouldn’t affect Google’s business much. But if China blocks YouTube and Google is seen to acquiesce, it will as well as annoy YouTube users in China, give free speech advocates an all-new stick to beat Google with. If you think Google has forgotten the tarring it received over Google.cn, you’re dreaming. And if Google is ahead of the game, it is already planning for such a possibility. [Full Text]

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