China: Western companies think internet censorship impedes business growth in the country

Author: James Zimmerman, Wall Street Journal, Published on: 23 May 2016

"Censorship in China Also Blocks Business Growth", 17 May 2016

…Almost 80% of American and European companies polled by the American Chamber of Commerce in China agree that censorship and Internet restrictions significantly interfere with their ability to operate in China. With eight of the world’s 25 most popular websites blocked in China, it’s no surprise the U.S. trade representative has listed Internet restrictions as a barrier to trade that hurts not just foreign companies but China itself.

It’s also ineffective. Almost anyone, including Chinese journalists, academics and government officials, can bypass the censors and access foreign sources of information through the use of virtual private networks, or VPN…

Overbroad Internet policies potentially isolate Chinese technologically from the rest of the world, limiting the country’s access to cutting-edge technology and global ideas and inventions…To attract and promote world-class commercial enterprises and promote economic development, Beijing needs to encourage the use of the Internet as a crucial medium for sharing information and ideas…

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