The same day that table dancing expert Bill Gates claimed that Chinese internet censorship was “very limited”, delightfully understated Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer waded in to defend his company’s presence in China.
The shy and retiring CEO said that Microsoft had done business in China for more than 20 years. He said that Redmond intended to stay which means respecting the laws of China.
Ballmer said that Microsoft is opposed to restrictions on peaceful political expression, and we have conversations with governments to make our views known.
After all a conversation with Steve is enough to make anyone change their mind.
Ballmer’s comments came after Chinese state-run newspapers this week prominently quoted Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates playing down China’s Internet censorship.
Under the headline “Bill Gates bats for China” the state-run Global Times used his comments to support its media blitz defending the country’s Internet regulation.
Gates was quoted as saying: “Fortunately the Chinese efforts to censor the Internet have been very limited”.
Although having said that, Gates also added that it was a doddle to get around the government controls.
However, he did say that different countries have different rules about censorship. So a big company has to decide if they want to obey the laws of the countries they are in or not.