Google's official announcement regarding its new approach to China has been escalated to the diplomatic exchange between Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese officials, who denied any role in the attacks.
Although the decision may be business in nature, Google's market share in China is not big while there are more and more political risks in keeping their business in China. The 10 years sentence of mainland Chinese journalist Shi Tao is the most well known case in which Yahoo! (Hong Kong) provided the Chinese government with Shi's email information as evidence for the prosecution.
After global petition to the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), it released a public letter to explain the fact and situation. It explained that it conducted a public tender to find a managing team for the Media Center in 2009, instead of appointing MediACT as the operator. However, considering MediACT's 7 years of experience and 300-pages planning document, some critics still questioned the fairness of the procedure. The formal response from MediACT is yet to be seen. But some independent people already raise some issues and questions. For example, why is a new management team able to oust MediACT who had been running the center for 7 years.
The public letter by KOFIC is shown as below:
What could we learn from Google's withdrawal in China? Evan Williams, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, had an idea. "We are partially blocked in China and other places and we were in Iran as well," he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "The most productive way to fight that is not by trying to engage China and other governments whose very being is against what we are about." Moreover, Williams mentioned that Twitter is now developing technology to prevent government censorship. In fact, Twitter runs across multiple mediums including the Internet and mobile devices, as well as modify the Hosts file, use Tweeter tool to set up their own Twitter API and use Dabr and other third-party sites and softwares, secure their advantage over a singular website to avoid government censorship.
*Liu Shih-Diing and Lou Lai-Chu Ivy have just published an article titled "The Internet as Macau's Alternative Public Sphere." in Mass Communication Research(Issue no. 102, January, 2010, p. 253-293). What follows is a summary. For the full version, please go here.
Liu and Lou highlight the importance of the resistant or alternative meanings generated in the Internet in Macau, a city in which the mainstream media and political institutions fail to help people to voice out and monitor the government. Hence, the Internet becomes a field formed by contesting discourses in which the people engage in the struggle for discursive power and resistant spaces. Since the handover in 1999, the Internet has played an important role in engaging people in political and social controversies. However, according to the authors' observation, the public sphere enabled by the Internet in Macau is still a "weak" one without substantial power to initiate social reform.
There are several online communities active in political and social mobilization in Hong Kong. One of them is Hong Kong Golden forum, its members are very critical of the Government and active in coordinating protests and demonstrations. However, recently, the CEO of the forum, Joe Lam （林祖舜）openly supported more legislation on cyber bullying.