US says China’s Internet censorship is a burden for businesses

In its annual National Trade Estimate Report, the United States has labeled China’s Internet censorship as a trade barrier, damaging the business of American companies. According to the report, ‘over the past decade, China’s filtering of cross-border Internet traffic has posed a significant burden to foreign suppliers, hurting both Internet sites themselves, and users who often depend on them for their businesses. Outright blocking of websites appears to have worsened over the past year, with 8 of the top 25 most trafficked global sites now blocked in China.’ The most recent survey on China’s business environment by the American Chamber of Commerce confirms the report’s conclusions on the negative effect of content control on business, as 79 percent of its members ‘reported a negative impact on business due to internet censorship.’ Nevertheless, according to Hong Lei, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, ‘China’s internet is vigorously expanding and providing vast space for companies from other countries to grow.’