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Great Wall of China

Major Chinese angel investor calls for more online freedom

Like most of China’s big tech investment gurus, Xu Xiaoping is on Sina Weibo. And although fellow tech investor Kaifu Lee just spent some quality time with China’s State Security officers for advocating more press freedom in China, Xu Xiaoping has apparently not been intimidated into silence, and recently posted this call for greater internet freedom to his weibo account:

Tech In Asia
Tech in Asia is an online technology news startup based in Asia, with team members all across the region. As a crew of journalists and bloggers with... More

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As China opens the door to development, it needs to reduce [the degree to which] the internet is closed off. For example, the extremely valuable international movie database imdb.com; at the very least that ought to be unblocked. China wants to be a big cultural power, but it is castrating itself by keeping the most valuable treasure trove of cultural information [the internet, in the global sense] locked outside. How can we do this [and still] accomplish the goals of the 18th Party Congress? I suggest that the relevant departments actively modify internet site-blocking measures, and unblock those sites that can be unblocked immediately.

Xu’s point here is one that has been made by many before (including me, although I stole it from Han Han), and has continued to fall upon deaf ears. It also touches on one of China’s most bizarre site blockages, the longstanding and thoroughly inexplicable blocking of imdb.com. Xu’s words aren’t extreme enough that he’s likely to get a tea invitation, but it’s still good to see that tech celebrities like Xu still aren’t afraid to speak out after the state’s attempt to intimidate a number of high-profile weibo users.

This article by C Custer originally appeared on Tech in Asia, a Burn Media publishing partner.