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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Protests in China nurtured through SMS, and emails

This is the new world. This is the world where the new generation of Internet users and texters uses technology to create smart mops. Smart mops that sometimes challenge the authorities or even overthrow governments, as happened in the Philippines.

The current protests in China against Japan are heavily organised via SMS, e-groups or emails. There is hardly any media news coverage.

"The underground noise grew so loud that last Friday the Chinese government moved to silence it by banning the use of text messages or e-mail to organize protests. It was part of a broader curb on the anti-Japanese movement but it also seemed the Communist Party had self-interest in mind."

An Asian diplomat is quoted as saying that "They are afraid the Chinese people will think, O.K., today we protest Japan; tomorrow, Japan. But the day after tomorrow, how about we protest against the government?"

This is a challenge for the country, where as China, which "as many as 50,000 people policing the Internet. Yet China is also now the largest cellphone market, with nearly 350 million users, while the number of Internet users is roughly 100 million and growing at 30 percent a year." The government balances precariously on a tight rope - suppressing the protests could also curb the continuous rise of the economy and threaten millions of dollars of foreign investment.

This is a tough choice and I believe the government is working heavily to make the right choices. But how can you contain a growing hot air balloon, so to speak?

(By Asia Business Consulting)