Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What's up with Google and China?

Here is Google's official statement that caused all the commotion. (Note it appeared on a blog :-)

Some good comments at TechCrunch:

1. Google’s business was not doing well in China. Does anyone really think Google would be doing this if it had top market share in the country? For one thing, I’d guess that would open them up to shareholder lawsuits. Google is a for-profit, publicly-held company at the end of the day. When I met with Google’s former head of China Kai-fu Lee in Beijing last October, he noted that one reason he left Google was that it was clear the company was never going to substantially increase its market share or beat Baidu. Google has clearly decided doing business in China isn’t worth it, and are turning what would be a negative into a marketing positive for its business in the rest of the world.

2. Google is ready to burn bridges. This is not how negotiations are done in China, and Google has done well enough there to know that. You don’t get results by pressuring the government in a public, English-language blog post. If Google were indeed still working with the government this letter would not have been posted because it has likely slammed every door shut, as a long-time entrepreneur in China Marc van der Chijs and many others said on Twitter. This was a scorched earth move, aimed at buying Google some good will in the rest of the world; Chinese customers and staff were essentially just thrown under the bus.

Actually, recent reports estimate their 2009 search market share at around 30 percent, which is nothing to sneeze at. They could have had a good business in China, although I agree with Kai Fu Lee that the government would never let them dominate the market there the way they do in the rest of the world.

The hacking used trojans injected via a zero-day vulnerability in Adobe (PDF file attachments) [Edit: or was it an IE browser problem? And were the hackers really Chinese -- why codename Aurora?]. The claim that these attacks on multiple companies were coordinated by Chinese intelligence services is plausible but far from proven.

It's important to emphasize that the Chinese government is not monolithic. The parts of the government concerned with economic growth and technology development will be asking some hard questions of the intelligence apparatus about this. No economic planner wants high tech companies like Google or Adobe to stop operating in China as a consequence of security risks.


Yan Shen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yan Shen said...

Steve, perhaps you also should have expressed your outrage that the Chinese government can get away with internet censorship in the first place, to the extent that it exists within China. Not only is this wrong morally, but I doubt that one can even offer up a utilitarian argument in favor of internet censorship in China. I seriously doubt that the country will disintegrate into utter social disarray if all of a sudden freedom of information existed.

Far too often, I meet Chinese Americans who are hesitant to criticize the Chinese government in clear and unequivocal terms when such criticism is indeed merited. I am not asserting that this characterization applies to yourself, but far too often some misguided sense of national pride gets in the way of clear and rational thinking when it comes to many Chinese Americans. I have noticed that your posts generally carry a pro-Chinese slant, which is perfectly fine. There are certainly positives to focus on in the development of China, but sadly there are far too many negatives that are being ignored.

Steve Hsu said...

Yan Shen: Next time do your homework first. I've done more than just talk about this issue.

I see no reason why I have to re-discuss trivial (obvious) points with every blog post. Google isn't doing any of this for moral or ethical reasons. If they were #1 in China they would tolerate all kinds of censorship, etc.

Steve Hsu said...

Here is that
link again.

Yan Shen said...

Steve, no doubt business concerns weigh heavily into this particular decision. At the same time, ethical concerns do play a minor role. If there were no moral qualms about the way the Chinese government behaved, I doubt Google would contemplate quitting the Chinese market either.

Also, I think I made it clear that I wasn't necessarily asserting that my characterizations of many Chinese Americans applied to yourself. I was merely stating my empirical observation that in none of your blog posts here regarding China has there ever been any clear and unequivocal condemnation of the Chinese government.

I read the link you posted and I think its great what you've done. If my ignorance of that fact has made you feel slighted, I apologize. Here though is my real gripe concerning certain of my fellow Chinese Americans. Maybe this criticism applies to you and maybe it doesn't. Far too often there is a reluctance to be more vocal publicly about the Chinese government and many of its fundamental shortcomings. Perhaps part of this is cultural. I suspect though that another big reason for the prevalence of this mentality is a sense of misguided national pride, an unwillingness to lose face in front of perceived outsiders. Rather than condemning the shortcomings of the Chinese government outright, I mostly hear either half-baked criticisms, vague insinuations about how the cultural and developmental status of China makes implementing certain ideals unfeasible, or outrage that the West with its history of racism and colonialism has now deemed itself to be the ultimate arbiter of moral values, coming from many Chinese Americans.

It may be a trivial point that freedom of speech should be tolerated in any reasonable society. And yet if its so trivial, why aren't more Chinese Americans outraged about the situation in China? That so little outrage is evinced over the denial of so trivial and fundamental a right really highlights for me the quintessential contradiction lurking within the mindset of so many Chinese Americans.

I'm not calling you out for not bashing the Chinese government in every single blog post. I'll concede that you've clearly done much more to remedy the situation in actuality than I have and probably ever will do. Perhaps I am just a bit frustrated that Chinese Americans as a whole tend to be too apathetic regarding the issue of China. I almost get the sense that sometimes we're letting our own people down back in China.

Yan Shen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Hsu said...

Uhh... I went head to head with those guys (Great Firewall). Sorry if I don't bash them enough on my blog, but talk is cheap.

I think I know what I'm talking about, and have the credibility of past *actions* on my side. If anything the media here tends to take an overly negative view of what is happening in China.

Yan Shen said...

That's the great thing about America. The free and open media takes an overly negative view of anything it finds to be morally objectionable. Condemnation of the Iraq war for instance was just as strong in certain sectors of the media as condemnation is of the Chinese government. So I definitely wouldn't accuse the US media of blatant hypocrisy and xenophobia, though no doubt some degree of it exists. During the Beijing Olympics, I recalled NBC doing many short segments which highlighted positive developments occurring within Chinese society, such as for instance the rising piano craze. In all honesty, I think it's trivial to state that Chinese government is far more xenophobic and hypocritical than any media in the West.

I will however concede that you have the credibility of your past actions on your side, while I only have mere words. But I don't think talk is cheap at all. If I were in a position to be able to do something tangible, I don't think I would hesitate twice to do so.

Unknown said...

I agree with the two comments.

Last year, even for Baidu, the profit is less than 200 million dollars. The current search market in China is pretty small. Even google becomes No.1 in China. Google cannot make much money over there.

Companies are money-oriented.
Chinese government pays Cisco to build the Great Firewall. I was confused what kind of talent algorithm they use to tell which websites are allowed or not allowed. Then I was told Cisco hires lots of people to check these websites since the labor fee is cheap in China.

Yan Shen said...

Steve, now that we've gotten some of the hostility out of the way, I have to say that your blog is generally quite an interesting and entertaining read. :)

Steve Hsu said...

Yan Shen: Note, I don't disagree with your opinions from a philosophical perspective. But, as I suspect you will learn from experience, there is a big difference between ideals and how the world really works. This blog is about the latter :-)

rp said...

As a first-gen european american, i hope nobody calls me out for not being on the front lines of criticizing european screw-ups. (i remember realizing how my thinking about how 'we' saved the world in WWII left out the inconvenient fact that my ancestors weren't all on 'our' side.) in contrast, something tells me there aren't many first-gen chinese-americans reflexively thinking about history with themselves in the role of 'we americans'. is this all due to the harder process of melting into a eurocentric society, racism, or something else? not surprised, but struck with the depth of feeling and responsibility for events occurring in china...

ben g said...

I don't buy the argument that this was "good business." Google had a lot to gain by staying in China without complaint. It already has 30% and China is the biggest growing market.

One thing I'm curious about is whether Google is doing this with US government urging. This is the biggest development in the Clash of Chinese and American civilizations for a while.

Unknown said...

"I agree with Kai Fu Lee that the government would never let them dominate the market there the way they do in the rest of the world."

Just curious - what steps could (and have) the Chinese government take to prevent Google from gaining market share there?

The primary differentiator seems to be that doesn't give users easy access to illegal mp3s and e-books like Baidu does. This probably has more to do with U.S. law than Chinese law or the Chinese government.

"Google isn't doing any of this for moral or ethical reasons. If they were #1 in China they would tolerate all kinds of censorship, etc."

Well, you too admit that 30% is nothing to scoff at. It's unprecedented for a company to let go of a 30% market share. And really, I don't see how moving out of China would translate into additional revenue elsewhere in the world. That just doesn't make sense.

This decision, prima facie, is not based on business considerations. There's either some other angle to the story that we don't know of, or it's what Google says it is.

"I think I know what I'm talking about, and have the credibility of past *actions* on my side."

Have your views veered to the "pragmatic" after your SafeWeb days?

It sort of erodes your credibility when you get pretty incensed about Tibet, like you do right here:

Steve Hsu said...

re: good for business?

There was a meeting reported between CEO Schmidt and Hillary Clinton recently, and speculation as to whether Google were given a nudge. The media coverage of this event looks very well orchestrated -- the Times, WSJ, etc. are all covering it in basically the same way.

Another factor that is hard to evaluate is whether the hackers got access to some of their source code and key IP. They might legitimately want to give up the China market if they feel they can't maintain security.

Steve Hsu said...

Re: Dawg, the belief that democracy and freedom of expression are good for China is logically independent from my views on Tibet. When I refer to credibility in the context of internet censorship, I mean specific actions to further the former. You are conflating two different things. I suppose next you'll ask me how I feel about falung gong...

As far as Kai Fu Lee's (quoted) views, it's a widespread belief that the government will put its thumb on the scales in favor of domestic companies. Exactly how that would be done in the Baidu vs Google competition is an interesting question... perhaps we've just seen it?

Unknown said...

"and speculation as to whether Google were given a nudge."

To what end? I can't see what mileage/benefit the political establishment/administration can derive from this.

Security seems like a reasonable concern for Google. Perhaps, the cost of security >> current profits from China. Anyway, the market share in China is not 30% but 14%.

I just have a feeling Google will regret this decision 10 years down the line.

P.S. What happens to the R&D centers?

Steve Hsu said...

I don't know exactly what Google's market share is in China -- WSJ reported the 30% number, but usually I see much lower ones.

I agree, Google will regret this unless there's some big factor we don't know about.

re: security, it's not just about spending. You can't be totally secure and you need to give those Beijing researchers access to the core IP in order for them to be able to do stuff. If there are really concerted efforts to penetrate Google from China then that may be enough to close shop. Eventually you will lose -- don't forget about human risk factors among employees.

But if the Chinese government is willing to be *that* aggressive in acquiring IP, source code, or intel on activists, it will hurt *them* in the long run by damaging innovation.

Unknown said...

If I was conflating two different things, it was only to address the larger question that Yan Shen posed on what he felt was a pro-Chinese slant in your posts. I don't particularly care about human rights elsewhere in the world, so this isn't a criticism of your views on Tibet. I just think it's more intellectually honest to state that one is indifferent to the plight of others (a natural state for most people?) than attempt to take the moral high ground.

"Exactly how that would be done in the Baidu vs Google competition is an interesting question... perhaps we've just seen it?"

Well, 14% is no real threat, right? And why now, when the market share is showing a steady decline? If they had to kill Google, and had the means, they would have done that a while ago.

Unknown said...

Agree with what you say.

Anyway, was wondering if there were any glaring deficiencies in the Google China search engine?

How do you think it holds up against Baidu?

P.S. The way I look at it is that if most of the usage of Baidu is indeed driven by those looking for free music/e-books, then the demographic using Baidu (low disposable income/teenagers) isn't exactly what advertisers will want to target or pay for.

Steve Hsu said...

"I just think it's more intellectually honest to state that one is indifferent to the plight of others..."

Who said I was indifferent? In the post you linked to I just said that Europeans who want to help the Tibetans might want to first consider the (continuing) plight of Native Americans, and should realize that the average Chinese person doesn't favor Tibetan independence. (Under democratic elections the majority in China are probably not going to grant independence.)

Also, where did I grab the moral high ground? I just pointed out that on the issue of internet censorship I've actually tried to *do something* and don't feel particularly required to rehash the issue on this blog. There are plenty of other places you can find that content.

I'll just say one more time that what I think the ideal world should be like, and what I think is likely or possible in this world are two different things.

Unknown said...

Steve: My apologies. Like I said, this was not meant to be a criticism of you.

Another aside: Baidu shares up.

What would I do for some insider information :)

Anyway, I'm signing off for today.

zzzhou said...

I applaud Google's stand. Here is a honest question, not a knock on anybody: does the US government have any power, say under the Patriot Act, to compel Google to produce the contents of my Gmail accounts? What about a private party like the MPAA in a civil suit against me?

Yan Shen said...

It's interesting reading about the mixed responses in China. On the one hand you have people offering support to Google and lamenting over its possible departure. Then on the other hand you have people evincing what I believe to be mindless nationalism. I guess when the government brings about economic improvements to people's lives, they become apathetic to the fact that their fundamental rights are being taken away from them in many other areas. I never understand quite frankly where this sense of misguided nationalism comes from. The Communist government has only existed for 60 years. China has a rich history spanning thousands of years. If these people really embraced a rational form of nationalism, they would be doing everything to overthrow the monopoly on power that the Chinese autocracy has.

Too much of it is just this sense of pride, this unwillingness to lose face in front of outsiders. Whenever a Westerner criticizes China on human rights, the general reaction from the Chinese is far more one of outrage, as opposed to when a Chinese person makes the same exact criticism. Maybe this is basic psychology 101. You generally tend to react more negatively towards criticism that comes from a perceived outsider.

Unknown said...

Zero Hedge has weighed in on the Google ploy:

Google’s Mysterious Threat To Pull Out Of China - Is A Covert War Brewing Between The U.S. And China?

eric said...

Yan Shen,

you think USA doesn't censor their media or that Gov under patriot act cant spy on your computer or web presence?

fact that this administration is cuddle up with Google leads me to believe they are starting to become Big brother of all things web orientated.

Yan Shen said...

Eric, I'm sure the US government does far more than most people realize. You're still way off base though to compare China to the United States.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that the US government keeps tabs on what its citizens say or do, to a far greater extent than most of us may be aware of. The bottom line is that it doesn't act out on such surveillance to the extent that the Chinese authorities do. People aren't harassed or arrested simply for criticizing the government.

Can you provide me with a concrete example of blatant US media censorship in recent years? I have a feeling that any example you can provide would pale in comparison to what occurs in China.

And finally, don't try to justify one wrong with another. It's the most common tactic in the apologist repertoire and quite frankly it's annoying.

Unknown said...

Human Rights?

Do you outsiders or the MSM or your government really care about the human rights of the
majority of Chinese people, namely the 1.2 billion Han Chinese?
Where is the human rights of those 20
Han Chinese killed in 2008.3.14 Tibet

All your MSM or government did is
"strongly condemn the Chinese government for cracking down the peaceful demonstration of Tibetans."

Hehe ......

Now this year again 150 or possible more Han Chinese was killed by "peaceful Muslim Uigui demonstrators",

The next day, Han Chinese went to street, What you MSM said is
"Han Mobs went on revenge, ... ..."
This time, you government did better, calling "Chinese government
to restrain ..."

Hehehe .......

After all this, do you think we truly believe your "outsiders"
or MSM or government care about our
1.2 billion Han Chinese?"

You tell me "do you do evil or not" .

By the way I participated 6.4 Tian'an'men Square demonstration
and I strongly oppose China to host
the Beijing Olymipics. I was expecting to hear a lot of bad words from Bob Costas of NBA in 2008, but I am disappointed.

Also it is so funny to watch someone carrying a genuine Chinese
HanYu PinYing name to say Commie
China this, Commie China that and
democracy this, human rights that....

Do you think smart Americans will consider you as their fellow, a crusader for democracy and Human rights, Yan Shen? hehehe ......

One last word, democracy?
60 years in the senate seat?
100 years old Senate?
Choose 1 orange from two apple?
Oh Yeah, Your vote counts!

hehehe ....

Yan Shen said...

Spare me your ignorant outrage qwert.
The Chinese regime is largely legitimized because it has brought about economic and social improvements to many people, at the expense of advancing civil and political liberties.

What you should really be doing is taking a long hard look at yourself in the mirror. Self criticism and self improvement are both keen moral virtues.

I think the American media did in fact report that Han Chinese had been killed in the riots. You wanna talk about the rights of Han Chinese pal. How about the hundreds of Han Chinese who were killed at Tianamen Square. How about the hundreds of grieving Tianamen Square mothers. How about the countless Han Chinese political dissidents who are harassed and imprisoned for doing nothing more than voicing their basic fundamental right of free speech. How about the hundreds of millions of Han Chinese who are deprived of basic political and civil liberties? How about the millions of Han Chinese who died during the Cultural Revolution?

You oughta take a long hard look in the mirror my friend before you start playing the nationalism card. It's great that you participated at Tianamen Square and opposed Beijing hosting the Olympics. Now take your outrage and direct it entirely against the Chinese government, where criticism of it is warranted. Stop acting like a douche, on the one hand criticizing the Chinese government, and on the other hand criticizing people like me. Don't try to play both sides against the middle here, acting like you're somehow particularly wise or enlightened. I think that reveals the quintessential contradiction lurking within your mind.

Both sides are probably to blame for the civil unrest in Xinjiang, though I have no doubt that the Chinese government really isn't making things any better with the way that ethnic Uyghurs are treated.

Yan Shen said...

I'll say one final thing. China has great potential as a nation, but so many people living there have an incredibly backwards mentality on so many different things. If you really care about advancing China and advancing the Han Chinese, you should really think about swallowing your misguided sense of nationalistic pride and taking a long hard look at how countries like Japan modernized and became civilized. Stop evincing your mindless nationalistic outrage every time someone outside of China criticizes the country. If it weren't such a mess on so many different levels, no one would be criticizing it. Don't whine about criticism. Instead, pick yourself up, and help make the country a better place. Then maybe China will be respected on the international stage, rather than being scorned.

Yan Shen said...

I dare you qwert to actually respond rationally to my criticisms. But no doubt you'll just run off like a little punk and avoid a debate when you realize you have no argument in defense of your position.

Go back and hide in your little corner pal.

eric said...

Yan Shen

How can you compare China and US in regards to what is being censor

FACT is in China, it's pretty known whats going to be censor- tibet, tia.square etc.. PRC has pretty much outline what cant be tolerated

As for USA and your concrete examples
have u been reading the news lately? what has happen in financial indsustry on how they game markets and US taxpayers are paying for it? how about fact Obama trying to backhand american people behind close doors on new health care bill? AIG? I doubt avg american knows what a CDS?
FACT that US media can twist truths already troublesome. US gov -economic news is even more skew on how like to make americans feel better about themselves, but country is running on fumes of debt

Your requests are moot, because its pretty obvious you can only see your own liberal -am higher than thou-viewpoint

Yan Shen said...

And you're nothing more than a joke Eric if you're seriously going to say that censorship in America is on the same level as that of China. The fact of the matter is, any valid criticism usually gets covered by some news organization. If the liberal media ignores it, I'm sure Fox News will be all over it. And vice-versa.
Stop embarrassing yourself with your poor arguments and with your equally poor English.

Yan Shen said...

Eric, I love how incredibly stupid you come off as being. You try to argue that the US media censors news by telling me to read presumably American news reports of stuff that you claim has been censored by the American media. Just brilliant.

To Steve. Why is it that your blog seems to attract apologist idiots. I've noticed that Anon is another one of them who seems to frequent your blog regularly, spewing his mindless politically correct BS.

eric said...

"And you're nothing more than a joke Eric if you're seriously going to say that censorship in America is on the same level as that of China."

No am not. YOU are saying and drawing conclusions here.

You telling me US Gov has always been on side of openess about their affairs and what they are doing?

back to orignal topic. google is a guest in China, I seriously doubt some ad driven-phone selling web company is in their board long term plans for their nation

Yan Shen said...

In America, you can find open information about how the European settlers of America killed off the Native American Indians and stole their land.

In America, you can find open information about how the American government dropped the nuclear bomb on Japan and unfairly interned Japanese Americans during World War 2.

In America, you can find open information about how African Americans were mistreated for hundreds of years and subjected to racism.

Tell me Eric. Where in China can you find open information about the Tiananmen Square massacre? Where in China can you find open information about things the government has done wrong and refuses to take responsbility for? Be a man Eric and grow up.

Yan Shen said...

There's a vibrant culture of openness and debate in American society that China is light years behind. In America, public criticism of president Obama is a common part of life. In China, public criticism of the Communist government renders you vulnerable to harassment and possible imprisonment. Stop embarrassing yourself Eric by being a mindless apologist for the Communist government.

Stop being a mindless tool of the Chinese government. Learn to think for yourself and to value your own rights.

Unknown said...

if there were no several hundred people killed in tian'an'men squre,

there would be millions or
possibly, hundreds of millions of people died in China because of starvation, civil wars, muslim jihd wars, Tibet monk wars.

oh, yeah, you can criticize obama publicly , Do Obama give you a damn shit?

Tell you what, I can shout in Beijing sreet, "Damn Hu Jingtao",
"Overthrow Communis China", same, nobody gives a damn shit! People could think me being a fanatic.

Hehe ......., your MSM do report
Hans were killed, Can you tell me all ther initial response from MSM?
can you tell me the main stream from MSM.

Yan Shen, you are not even borned in America, right? I have to say you are brainwahsed, heart-changed.

Yeah, I don't know where did you get such a strong sense of self righteous and such a sense being a
"democracy jihadist",

You behaves and thinks exactly like Islam Fundamentalist. What you preached is (western) "democracy".

Yan Shen said...

I wanna hear you criticize Hu Jintao publicly in Beijing and advocate overthrowing the Communist party. Oh wait, theyll probably throw you into prison like Liu Xiaobo and I won't hear from you again for years.

What I preach is basic common sense. You can't deprive people of the right to free speech and free expression. And by the way, people in America can actually influence major public policy decisions.
By the way, you have no proof that 1) the protest could not have been dealt with peacefully 2) that countless millions would've died had the protesters not been shot at
3) if the Chinese government believes it did the right thing, why does it censor any discussion of the event, smart guy?

The only person who thinks like a fundamentalist is you. You let the Chinese government treat you like shit, and you have too much nationalistic pride to do something about it.

Qwert, you're nothing more than a typical stupid Chinese person who can't think for himself. The Communist party doesn't get to decide what is and what isn't acceptable for public discourse. That right belongs to the people. Smarten the fuck up and learn to defend your own rights.

Unknown said...

Yan Shen, All you read, hear is what
your MSM prepared for you.

Look out, if one day US will bomb Iran. On month or possible longer,
you will hear lots of horrible things going on in Iran, so Iran being evil.

Hehe ......., you think interdependently, hehe ....,
in US, even a moron can preach "democracy" because it is mainstream. And it is a perfect weapon to use to wage a "media" war
or fourth generation waragainst a regime the government does not like.

Yan Shen, You are hopeless, you are brain-washed by Hollywood and MSM. All you said had nothing new, it stinks on the screen of Hollywood movies and in the air of MSM.

Yan Shen said...

The sad thing is there are many people in China who are frustrated with the Communist government. Self criticism and self improvement are important moral virtues. The only reason people tolerate the government is because so far it has brought about many economic and social improvements for its citizens.

The only person who has been brainwashed is you. You have been brainwashed into believing that the Communist party represents the will of the people of China. The Communist party brainwashes you to believe that criticism of the government is criticism of China and the Chinese people. That's your big mistake my friend.

Maybe you should grow up. Maybe you should learn to take self criticism to heart and learn to improve yourself. Instead, all you do is mindlessly buy into Communist propaganda. Criticizing the Communist party is not anti-China. Learn to think for yourself. And since you seem to be so compassionate, maybe you should go out to the streets of Beijing, advocate the overthrowing of the Communist party, advocate the government apologizing to the Tiananmen Square mothers, advocate the government taking responsibility for its wrongs.

Don't let the Communist government brainwash you. They are not China. Criticizing the Communist party is not anti-China. Grow the fuck up.

Yan Shen said...

So tell me qwert. Was the Chinese government right or wrong to imprison Liu Xiaobo. Yes or no. I want to hear a one word answer.

Unknown said...

Yan Shen, being your smart Chinese.

Yeah, the rest are stupid Chinese.

Liu Xiaobo, who cares.

He is funded by American money,
that is the reason I will not be thrown in prison and he will be.

Are you a Chinese?

I would not say so.

You sold your soul to ......

Yan Shen said...

All you are Qwert is an idiot who buys into Communist propaganda. You think the Communist party gives a shit about you? They brainwash you with nationalism so that they can maintain their power over the citizens. I hope you'd be smart enough to see through the bullshit, but I guess you're not.

Yan Shen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yan Shen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Yan Shen, who give you a damn shit.

Oh yeah, I am happy being a "stupid" Chinese as you said.

Chinese government propaganda? What is you propaganda?

I guess you are paid by American funds to "propaganda", right?

But you failed, I won't trust you.
And I will influence more people around me, period.

Unknown said...

Steve, look out personal attack from Yan Shen.

Who avoided Liu Xiaobo issue.

I believe Liu Xiaobo being an agent
for foreign interest. I wish government give him a more severe punishment, even death penalty.

Yan Shen said...

If killing the protesters at Tiananmen Square was the right thing to do, let's hear the Communist party defend its past actions in a public forum. Why do you argue that it was the right thing to do, but yet you're so sensitive in discussing the issue publicly?

I hope that most Chinese citizens are smarter than yourself Qwert. I'd really hate to think that the majority of the nation lacked the ability to think critically for themselves.

And my friend, you live in a country where almost all of the media is censored to conform to official Communist party viewpoints, and you have the audacity to criticize the American mainstream media? That's like the pot calling the kettle black, buddy.

My god, for all of the suppposed intelligence of the Chinese people, they sure seem to lack the ability to think independently and critically, without letting their opinions be clouded by mindless nationalism.

Why is it in America, people can criticize the Iraq war or nationalized health care and still be considered patriotic Americans. In China people are brainwashed into believing that criticizing the government in any way is anti-Chinese. And quite frankly that mindless nationalism disgusts me. Your mentality shows that you're no better than a savage Qwert.

Yan Shen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yan Shen said...

I hope the Chinese government gives you the death penalty Qwert. Then there's one less stupid Chinese to fuck up the country.

Many stupid Chinese have no morals. They're like animals. You're like an animal Qwert. No one who peacefully voices his opinions should be imprisoned. And yet you advocate him being killed. You're no better than a savage, unfit for life.

All you do is evince mindless nationalism. You're so sensitive to criticism, when what you should really do doing is trying to understand why China is a shithole and why Japan and South Korea are light years ahead.

Yan Shen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yan Shen said...

I'm so sick and fed up with anti-intellectualism in all of its various forms. And I'm so sick and fed up with the mindless culture of conformity in China. Yeah, you're right Qwert. I'm being funded by the American propaganda machine. Really how stupid can you get? This isn't China. People actually have their own ideas here in America pal. But you probably don't understand that, since in China everytihng is funded by the Communist party propaganda machine. I know, its a real culture shock to you to even contemplate that I could be actually voicing my own opinions independently.

And let me make something else clear to you. I was debating the issue rationally at first. You were the one who tried to make this personal by playing the nationalism card. Don't ever do that in an argument pal, cause you can go stick it to yourself. I'll beat down your poor arguments and your even worse English wherever I encounter them.

Yan Shen said...

By the way Steve, I apologize for losing my cool in my comments on your blog. I guess I have a certain degree of impatience in dealing with stupidity. I'll end my arguments with this post, since I really don't want to flood your blog with my angry comments. :)
Once again, my apologies.

Yan Shen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eric said...


Yan Shen

stupid? who are you to start mouthing off about this

LOOK at YOUR first few posts here in regards to this topic. who you to judge. you come off as pseduo whinny idiot libearl

GOOGLE is not business of morality here, ONE THING YOU BRILLANT mind seem to miss.

second you pitiful example of so called NON US- censorship of looking up what US " early histroy" about ho native american indians were really treated is not same as T.square or even Tibet etc....

for one thing you not even considering TIME FRAME
100 years from now i truly doubt T.square would be censored. No more than stuff you read in history books you find in high school. Am sure by then the would be actual dialogue about the incident in higher ed. institutions.

CAN I go up and see and analyze data on how many civilans deaths are there in Iraq?
How about pictures of dead both in US military and civilzans ? You dont see that visual confirmation in US media, because obviously Gov does not want this to be know or seen

How about news media glamouring Obama on TV?
Dude nothing more than liar and bastard but more secertive about than last president? how about fact he is smoker? is that news censored?
is heath care reform censored?

Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the government or media organizations as determined by a censor.

eric said...

You know fact that attacking Obama verbal or thru web results in no retributtion?

OK so we can blabber away whether on web or in have some televised debate on healthcare and Obama

what does that do? Nothing. Gov gonna do what it wants to do and its not going to tell what they did after they done it. Is that OPEN society? you elect officals in so called democracy, but you end up giving your freedoms and voice to politicans and lobbyist with their own agenda.

GOV bail out TARP is paid for by US taxpayers. THE PEOPLE OF USA. where was outline of clear and concise meaning behind 700B fund? U didn't know what Paulson did at time. Much like Fed reserve and their secret and shady doings.

IS it censorship on how gov keep info about TARP and what Treasury was really buying ( and at what price?)

What about Fed? they are separate entity but US TAXPAYERS PAY for their existence. where OPENESS and disclosure on how much debt or what they own in fed reserve?

is that censorship?

hows that any different than PRC?


get a life

eric said...

"I'm going to end this particular discussion by pointing out one thing to you Steve. And this is particularly why I became frustrated in the first place. Your blog attracts idiot apologists who advocate executing a man who voices his own opinions." - Yan Shen

You proven your own point

Google still is censoring their search BTW, as of today. If they own 60% of Chinese market they WILL BE CENSORING. too bad you so called big brain can understand this

soooo much for your pseduo intelluect - liberal whinny

Yan Shen said...

Here are some major differences between America and China. People are not harassed and imprisoned for openly criticizing the government.
People can actually influence public policy to a certain extent.

And actually Eric, you can easily find statistics in the US media that tell you how many deaths have occurred in the Iraq war.

If you want critical coverage of Obama and health care reform just turn on Fox News.

Are you going to keep talking and make yourself seem even more stupid Eric? Or perhaps you fail to under that in America the media is an independent organization and operates separately from the government?

Yan Shen said...

If you think that news critical of the US government is censored, you are seriously just stupid.

If you want critical news about the the current Obama administration, I suggest you check out
They are the conservative news organization in America. But oh wait. What would you understand about an independent media? What you would understand that in America you have both liberals and conservatives? All you understand is that in China the Communist government brainwashes everyone to think exactly the same.

Yan Shen said...

I get the feeling Eric that you are one of the stupid Chinese. You exhibit a complete lack of basic intelligence and critical thinking. And quite frankly your poor English is also an embarrassment.

Yan Shen said...

The Communist party censors basically everything it finds to be objectionable.

In America, the media is INDEPENDENT.

I feel sorry for you that you don't understand what it means for a media to be independent and separate from the government.

Criticism of the Iraq war and the relevant statistics was strong in the liberal media in America.

Criticism of Obama and nationalized health care was strong in the conservative media.

You're just an angry man Eric because you live in a country with no basic civil and political liberties.

Do you understand how stupid you are? You told me earlier to read American news reports about issues that you say was censored by the American media. That made me laugh. It shows just how stupid you are. :) Do you even have a college education? Or are you a factory worker in China somewhere?

Yan Shen said...

"CAN I go up and see and analyze data on how many civilans deaths are there in Iraq?
How about pictures of dead both in US military and civilzans ? You dont see that visual confirmation in US media, because obviously Gov does not want this to be know or seen

How about news media glamouring Obama on TV?
Dude nothing more than liar and bastard but more secertive about than last president? how about fact he is smoker? is that news censored?
is heath care reform censored?"

Here is a link to a story about Obama smoking.

Here is a link to a an article about civilian deaths in Iraq.

And Eric you are completely stupid if you tihnk health care reform is censored. It is one of gthe the most widely and openly debated issues in contemporary American politics today.


You've lost the argument Eric. Go back to being the Communisty party's bitch.

Steve Hsu said...

Yan Shen, please adopt a more civil tone in your discussions. This is not a blog for kids.

ben g said...

Pointing to the past actions of the West does nothing to make the problems of China smaller. Moral standards have changed over time (for the better). People oppose violations of human rights now in a way that they didn't before.

My grandpa sometimes says "America took the South from Mexico" whenever I criticize Israel. What kind of argument is this? That by 19th century moral standards which accepted racism and colonialism your country is not doing anything that bad?

Yan Shen, I agree with a lot of what you're saying but you should still be more civil.

Yan Shen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yan Shen said...

Indeed I should, though I have to say that confrontation is a big part of who I am, for better or worse. :)
But since this is Steve's blog, I'll gladly abide by his rules of decorum.

I think that civility is overrated to be honest. Usually what you say to someone goes in one ear and right out the other, unless you berate them for their short-sightedness.

The major paradigm shifts in intellectual thought throughout history, I'm afraid to say, have almost never been the result of civil discourse.

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