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BetaDot » Skype China
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Skype Runs Text-Filter in China, US Next?

Skype, a voice over IP (VoIP) provider backed by eBay, has acknowledged that its Chinese partner company, Tom Online, censored text messages, defending the actions as a necessary part of doing business in the county.


Skype’s chief executive, Niklas Zennstrom, told the Financial Times that its joint venture partner in China was only complying with local laws when it censored customers’ text messages.

“Tom had implemented a text filter, which is what everyone else in that market is doing,” Zennstrom told the Financial Times. “Those are the regulations.”

China, Germany and the United States make up Skype’s top three markets, based on the countries’ numbers of active users of its free Internet-based telephone offering.

Skype is one of the latest companies to step into the censorship debate that has already seen firms such as Microsoft and Yahoo draw fire from critics and rights activists regarding their business practices in China.

Zennstrom dismissed critics’ concerns regarding the filtering of text messages, and stressed that this censorship has not subjected users of the Skype or Tom Online services to undue risk.

“I may like or not like the laws and regulations to operate businesses in the U.K. or Germany or the U.S., but if I choose to do business there, I choose to comply with those laws and regulations,” Zennstrom told the Financial Times. “I can try to lobby to change them, but I need to comply with them. China in that way is not different.”

Summary

Skype, a voice over IP (VoIP) provider backed by eBay, has acknowledged that its Chinese partner company, Tom Online, censored text messages, defending the actions as a necessary part of doing business in the county.


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Comments

certainly neither china nor skype is setting the right example

Posted by gautam on April 20th, 2006 at 11:09 am
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