Chinese blogger turned off by Microsoft

by on January 6th, 2006

BEIJING — Microsoft Corp. has shut down the Internet journal of a Chinese blogger that discussed politically sensitive issues, including a recent strike at a Beijing newspaper.

The action came amid criticism by free-speech activists of foreign companies that help the communist government silence dissent in order to be allowed into China’s market.

Microsoft’s China-based weblog-hosting service shut down the blog at the Chinese government’s request, said Brooke Richardson, group product manager with Microsoft’s MSN online division at company headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

Although Beijing has supported Internet use for education and business, it fiercely polices content. Filters block objectionable foreign websites, and regulations ban subversive or pornographic content and require service providers to enforce censorship.

“When we operate in markets around the world, we have to ensure that our service complies with global laws as well as local laws and norms,” Richardson said.

Richardson said the blog was shut down Dec. 30 or Dec. 31 for violating Microsoft’s code of conduct, which states that users must obey the laws of the country in which they are based.

The blog, written under the name An Ti by Zhao Jing, a research assistant at the Beijing bureau of the New York Times, touched on sensitive topics such as China’s relations with Taiwan. Last week, he used the blog to crusade on behalf of a Beijing newspaper.

Etalkinghead Staff