Microsoft Shuts Down Chinese Freedom Fighters

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On New Years Eve, MSN Spaces took down the popular blog written by Zhao Jing, aka Michael Anti. This site was critical of the Chinese communist government and in not wanting to upset Microsoft's delicate business contracts with China, Microsoft took it upon itself to shut down anti-communist blogs on its MSN service, even though the Chinese government itself wasn't censoring these blogs.

Nice job Microsoft. Don't let any of that "freedom talk" get in the way of making some money.

Anti is one of China’s edgiest journalistic bloggers, often pushing at the boundaries of what is acceptable. His old blog at the U.S.-hosted Blog-city is believed to have caused the Chinese authorities to block all Blog-city blogs. In the final days of December, Anti became a vocal supporter of journalists at the Beijing Daily News who walked off the job after the top editors were fired for their increasingly daring investigative coverage, including some recent reporting on the recent police shootings of village protestors in the Southern China.

Here's an interview with Anti.

There's also talk of this shutdown being related to dirty politics from a Chinese blog hosting company putting pressure on Microsoft.

Either way, it's ultra lame for Microsoft to take the site offline.

UPDATE: Forbes has more on the story

Anti's now-defunct blog




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