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Attendees take a selfie before a press conference announcing the return of the Motorola brand to China, Beijing, Jan. 26, 2015 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

China Forces Big Tech to Make a Choice: Play By Beijing’s Rules, or Be Left Out

Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018

When WhatsApp users in China started noticing technical problems with the mobile messaging application this past September, nothing seemed unusual at first. The slow sending speeds and inability to deliver video and audio files could have easily been due to a spotty internet connection or a bug. Many users in China had experienced such issues before; these were usually limited and localized, and they were resolved in a matter of days.

But there was also the possibility of government tampering. A few years earlier, in 2014, users of Gmail and other email services in China had reported similar problems, right up until these services were banned outright. ...

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