China Squeezes PC Makers

From Wall Street Journal:

China plans to require that all personal computers sold in the country as of July 1 be shipped with software that blocks access to certain Web sites, a move that could give government censors unprecedented control over how Chinese users access the Internet.

The government, which has told global PC makers of the requirement but has yet to announce it to the public, says the effort is aimed at protecting young people from “harmful” content. The primary target is pornography, says the main developer of the software, a company that has ties to China’s security ministry and military.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The Chinese government has a history of censoring a broad range of Web content. The new requirement could force PC manufacturers to choose between refusing a government order in a major market or opening themselves to charges of abetting censorship.

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