China Clamps Down Still Harder on Internet Access –

1907, The Great Wall, photo by Herbert Ponting (1870-1935)
1907, The Great Wall, photo by Herbert Ponting (1870-1935)

It is not just scientists who have come to depend on an unabridged Internet for their work. Cheng Qingsong, a prominent film critic, complained that it was more and more difficult to stream foreign movies. Andrew Wang, a professor of translation at Beijing Language and Culture University, worried that his students would be unable carry out assignments that require them to watch English-language videos on YouTube, which has long been blocked here…

The vast majority of Chinese Internet users, especially those not fluent in English and other foreign languages, have little interest in vaulting the digital firewall. But those who require access to an unfiltered Internet are the very people Beijing has been counting on to transform the nation’s low-end manufacturing economy into one fueled by entrepreneurial innovation.

Illustrating of such contradictions, the central government this week announced a series of programs that seek to lure more international business talent by easing visa requirements and through other incentives.

“We have to focus on the nation’s strategic goals and attract high-level talent to start innovative businesses in China,” said Zhang Jianguo, director of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, who bemoaned the nation’s shortage of scientists and tech entrepreneurs.

Those goals, however, will not be helped by the latest assaults on Internet access, critics say. Avery Goldstein, a professor of contemporary Chinese studies at the University of Pennsylvania, said the growing online constraints would not only dissuade expatriates from relocating here, but could also compel ambitious young Chinese studying abroad to seek job opportunities elsewhere…

via China Clamps Down Still Harder on Internet Access –

Subscribe to Podcast