Gates: Chinese censorship has been “very limited”
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has described official online censorship by the Chinese authorities as “very limited”.
Asked in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America about Google’s dispute with China, Gates said the internet is subject to different kinds of censorship around the world but has proved a consistent success at promoting openness and the exchange of ideas.
“You’ve got to decide: do you want to obey the laws of the countries you’re in, or not? If not, you may not end up doing business there,” Gates said without mentioning Google by name.
“The Chinese efforts to censor the internet have been very limited. It’s easy to go around it, and so I think keeping the internet thriving there is very important.”
The interview coincided with efforts by China to defend its curbs on the internet almost two weeks after search engine giant Google said it wanted to stop censoring its Chinese website. The company said it was alarmed by online hacking attacks from within China.
Google’s complaints have received backing from the White House. But China has countered with accusations that Washington was using the internet to support subversion in Iran.