ZD Net is reporting today that China has censored some 60 thousand Websites (really thought it would be more) and over 350 million pages and is “proud of it.” MerriamAssociates.com is honored to be one of them.
The head of the State Council Information Office, Wang Chen says there is no stopping its campaign against offensive material (was it a tasteless picture or two, the nude Twitter followers post, or the frank commentary about branding and China on this site that got it banned?) Chen claims to have gone through 1.79 million websites, deleting 350 million pages and to have rounded up 4,965 people in China, “1,332 of whom received ‘criminal punishment’ with 58 jailed for five years or more.”
Chinese officials are foolish to be proud of this achievement in censorship, not because it is counter to our own particular American values (which are not relevant in China), but because they hobble China’s long-term capacity as an economic and political power. In a world where “information wants to be free” and where viral communication, social media, open source sharing, crowd-sourcing and community-powered technology and process improvements are driving innovation and growth, censorship is a dead weight for China. China’s huge production engine will stay subservient to the world’s innovator brands as long as the Chinese government prevents the free flow of information that could empower brilliant Chinese minds and make future leaders.