December 12, 2014

Zuckerberg’s pandering to China threatens Web’s values

By Amy Chang

President Obama acknowledged Dec. 3 that the Chinese exercise of cybertheft is “indisputable.” While he encouraged American CEOs to speak out about China’s behavior, others, such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, could not be more eager to pander to senior Chinese officials in order to nudge his way into a lucrative new market. Facebook is blocked in China. So when China’s top Internet regulator, Lu Wei, proclaimed in October that he never said Facebook could or could not enter China, Zuckerberg renewed his charm offensive.

The Facebook CEO was photographed showing a copy of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s book of speeches to Lu during his visit to Silicon Valley earlier this month, saying he bought the book because he wants his employees to “understand socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

Why was Zuckerberg’s gesture toward Lu especially concerning? Because China is actively promoting a counter-narrative to the traditional Western notion of an open, free, networked society. China, and in particular Lu, have been proposing the concept of sovereignty in cyberspace, implying China’s ability to control its own Internet, censor information that may threaten the regime, and administer Web traffic within its own borders. China has employed this language in state-sponsored media, in government white papers, in U.N. meetings, and in literature distributed at Internet governance conferences.

Read the full article at the San Francisco Chronicle

  • Reports
    • October 7, 2021
    Tangled Threats

    Executive Summary China and North Korea pose intertwined challenges for U.S. and allied policy. The Korean Peninsula constitutes just one area among many in U.S.-China relatio...

    By Jacob Stokes

  • Commentary
    • The Washington Post
    • September 22, 2021
    The Biden administration just stalled China’s advance in the Indo-Pacific

    Australia, by intensifying the military competition with China, could tee up a chain of as yet unforeseen events....

    By Robert D. Kaplan

  • Commentary
    • Asia Times
    • September 11, 2021
    China tariff policies flounder without a strategy

    The White House ought to be asking a series of questions. What problem are we responding to? What are we trying to achieve? How will 301s and tariffs further that?...

    By Van Jackson

  • Commentary
    • Inkstick
    • September 9, 2021
    Neoliberals, Anti-imperialists, and the China Question

    If there are arguments to be made in favor of cooperation with China, or to justify not sweating China’s accumulation of power, they’re probably best made on grounds other tha...

    By Van Jackson

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia