No U.S. company should comply with China’s censorship policies even if it means losing business, says Representative Christopher H. Smith. The New Jersey Republican and chairman of a House subcommittee on human rights, plans to hold hearings next month to look into reports that companies like Yahoo and Microsoft have cooperated with the Chinese government to suppress free speech, the Boston Globe says.
It was once thought that the growth of the Internet in China would lead to greater freedoms, but that has not proven to be the case. Last week, it was reported that Microsoft shut the blog site of a well-known Chinese blogger who uses its MSN online service in China after he discussed a high-profile newspaper strike.
Smith contends that a law that requires resisting the censorship demands from authoritarian governments may be the only way to stop U.S. companies from acquiescing to China’s demands.
The Congressional Human Rights Caucus also plans hearings on the issue in February.