Narrow-minded opposition against Twitter appointment

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-4-19 0:33:02

Twitter appointed Kathy Chen as its managing director for greater China Friday. The news has sparked a fierce reaction among Chinese Twitter users. Chen's resume suggests that she has worked for Microsoft and Cisco, and was a former general manager at CA-Jinchen, a joint software venture between Computer Associates International and China's Ministry of Public Security. Net users have further exposed that Chen had worked for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) for seven years.

Protesters point to Chen's "suspicious" background, concerned that Twitter, a sanctuary of freedom of speech online, will be subject to content scrutiny after Chen's appointment. Some media outlets in Hong Kong and Taiwan started to hype Chen's PLA background, claiming that Twitter will be dyed with "Communist" color.

Twitter has not formally entered China's market. Its Chinese customers, which make up only a tiny part of its overall users, are mostly overseas Chinese, especially those antagonistic against the Chinese mainland's political systems. A few dissidents hop over the Great Firewall to vent their dissatisfaction on Twitter.

These people, worrying that Twitter may be turned into the mainland's Weibo, are often narrow-minded, radical and easily make stupid cognitive mistakes. Twitter, as a mainstream US Internet company, shares common values with other Western firms in management and hiring.

Twitter's American nature will be similar to Google and Facebook, including its fundamental ideology and the stance it will take when China and US encounter conflict.

Twitter will carry out its strategies, including recruitment, centered on business interests. According to media reports, the company has stated previously that it has no intention to expand its Chinese-language user base, but will actively explore Chinese advertiser market. It is reported the company recorded a more than 300 per cent growth in the number of its Chinese advertisers in 2015.

After being appointed, Chen exchanged tweets with some official Chinese media. She may have meant to leave a good impression with Chinese authorities since she will be tasked with "growing business with Chinese advertisers."

Strong opposition against appointing Chen is an affair between the company and some of its users. It brings no damage to the Chinese mainland and is not something we need to worry about. The incident gives us a glimpse into how extreme and ridiculous the overseas anti-China circle can be.

Their twisted sentiment has run to such an extent that an executive sent to the Chinese market by an American mainstream social media company has to undergo a background check in terms of their relationship with the Communist Party of China. They are too pessimistic and lack security.

Twitter will not become another Weibo of China. However, if it is eyeing entering the Chinese market, certain adjustments according to Chinese law would be necessary. We believe Twitter will deliberate the decision well.

Posted in: Observer

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