Chinese Internet censorship critic weggezoomtDie popular Video platform Zoom has bowed to the pressure from Beijing and human rights activists in the United States and Hong Kong blocked.Jannis Brühl, Christoph Giesen0 comment since the Corona-crisis extremely popular: video conferencing via Zoom. Photo: Reuters

The conference platform Zoom has granted three video conferences of Chinese human rights activists in the United States and Hong Kong to pressure the government in Beijing blocked and to have the accounts of the host closed. The action of the company against the Chinese activists sparked sharp criticism. Content the aim of the blockades commemorative events were for the victims of the bloody crackdown on the 1989 Pro-democracy movement in China.

The company has bowed to the censorship pressure from China, just in the Moment in which it celebrates the world of his greatest successes. In the Corona-crisis, the use of Zoom is increased not only in the home office, but also by private people and for sports classes or worship services. In April, there were up to 300 million took part in video conferences on a daily basis – compared to ten million in December. In may, the number declined slightly, but the increase in revenue to 150 percent compared to the previous year, remains extraordinary.

“This should have no impact on users outside mainland China.”

Zoom, opinion,

Like other major Internet companies also Zoom between the fronts of the censorship in China and the freedom-of-speech is now in the West fall. Zoom argues that as a global company, the laws in the respective countries. “We strive to limit our measures, which are necessary to comply with local laws,” it said. “Our answer should have no impact on users outside mainland China.”

The in San Jose, California-based company said on Friday that accounts of the activists had since been re-enabled. However, the platform will also looked at in the future, the instructions of the Chinese Authorities about “illegal” activities, however, accounts and activities outside of China are no longer restricted. “Over the next few days” will develop a Software that would allow the participants according to their respective location exclude. “That allows us to meet the demands of local authorities, if these activities are watching on our platform as illegal within its borders.”

Limited Zoom usage in China

In China itself, the Zoom is used up to now, hardly. Course at universities and conferences in the company are held these days, mostly with Tencent Meeting or the Ding Ding of Alibaba. Both services operate in the difference to Zoom in on Chinese servers and can be censored by the authorities without great difficulty.

Zoom was, however, in the past few weeks, popular among many Chinese, who wanted to participate in discussions and events outside of China. Via Zoom you were able to bypass the otherwise strict censorship of the Internet. In contrast to Google, Facebook or Twitter Zoom is not blocked in China. The Chinese authorities it was a thorn in the eye.

Apparently can allows to organize to pressure from Beijing Zoom since may there are no individual accounts in China, so that Chinese users make any Video more. Furthermore, you may participate. Digital meetings can be set up from China however, if it is a company with a business license in China. And in the future, Chinese users have to fear that their accounts will be completely blocked.

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