Chinese Censors Slow the Net—and U.S. Businesses
At Bloomberg Businessweek, Christina Larson reports recent survey data from U.S. companies on doing business across and within China’s Great Firewall:
Censorship in China is usually discussed as a political issue, which of course it is, but there are business and productivity costs as well. For the past two years the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Beijing has included questions about Internet and cybersecurity concerns in its annual survey of firms operating in China, alongside questions about market access, intellectual property rights, and labor costs. The 2013 Business Climate Survey (PDF), released on March 29, sheds light on how U.S. firms feel about the Great Firewall.
Of the 325 respondents, 55 percent see China’s Internet restrictions as negatively or somewhat negatively affecting their capacity to do business there. Some 62 percent said the disruption of search engines such as Google (GOOG) make it more difficult to obtain real-time market data, share time-sensitive information, or collaborate with colleagues based outside China. And 72 percent said that slow and unstable Internet speeds impede their ability to efficiently conduct business in China.