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Scaling the Great Firewall of China

Marketplace Staff Oct 15, 2007
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Scaling the Great Firewall of China

Marketplace Staff Oct 15, 2007
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TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Twice a decade, China’s Communist Party meets to decide who will run the country for the next five years. That meeting begins today. One way this affects American business is that during this meeting, China shuts down thousands of websites. It doesn’t want any Internet protesting or interference. More now from Bill Marcus in Shanghai.


Bill Marcus: If you’re a foreign multinational, you can get around the Great Firewall of China — but it costs $7,000 to get started, and another $50,000 every year. Not a lot when you’re making millions selling ships or turbines.

But if you’re Danny Levinson, who manages corporate e-mail and publishes 30 online journals, political season here is a perennial pain. The Internet is always a little slow when the party gets going.

Danny Levinson: Whenever something like this happens in China, it really impacts international business and domestic business — especially with the closure of websites. What it basically is creating is a void in China of information.

Levinson says building an information-based economy without a healthy Internet may cost China in the long run.

Not everybody’s losing money though. The modified routers that China uses to censor were bought from the American company Cisco systems.

In Shanghai, I’m Bill Marcus, for Marketplace.

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