Dodging China as a business plan

Interesting story on the AP wire about Dynamic Internet Technology, a company run by Falun Gong practitioner Bill Xia. Take a look at what it does:

In February 2002, the company started a pilot project with the U.S. government not described on its Web site. The following month, it unveiled a tool that disguises Web sites so they can slip past China’s firewall filters.

Each day, the company sends out e-mail to millions of Chinese Internet users with links to the Web pages of Human Rights in China and the United States-sponsored Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. Visits to the sites jump whenever Chinese citizens perceive a government cover-up, as during the initial outbreak of a deadly respiratory virus in 2003 or the reported shooting of protesting villagers in December.

Over the past three years, the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, has directed about $2 million to Xia’s company for the e-mail service. The spending also supports technology that continuously changes Web addresses to escape Chinese government shutdowns.

Your tax dollars at work? Well, it looks like the company is driven more by falun than by money.

Xia said despite the government revenue, he depends on his wife’s salary and a team of about 10 core volunteers to maintain a company constantly on the brink of bankruptcy. He also acknowledges his company limits DynaWeb, his company’s main tool, to Chinese-only versions. The company hides it from English-language users for fear they might use it to skirt corporate firewalls at their workplaces.

Wonder if protestors will be firebombing the U.S. Embassy over this. Somehow, I doubt it.

2 thoughts on “Dodging China as a business plan

  1. That’s an illustrative example of what happens when the US government gets in the business of fighting for free speech in China! VOA seriously needs to rethink its investment strategy; it could probably be much more effective and less of a drain on the taxpayer if it, say, supported further internet development in the country.

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