Although the prospect remains unlikely, a senior Microsoft executive says the software giant might have to reconsider doing business in China if "if the persecuting of bloggers reaches a point that it’s unacceptable to do business there."
Said Fred Tipson, senior policy counsel for Microsoft:
Things are getting bad… and perhaps we have to look again at our presence there.
We have to decide if the persecuting of bloggers reaches a point that it’s unacceptable to do business there."
We try to define those levels and the trends are not good there at the moment. It’s a moving target.
Tipson was speaking earlier this week at the Internet Governance Forum in Athens. On the same day he made the above remarks, he took part in debate on "openness" in which Microsoft and Cisco, another panel participant, were singled out for accusations from some delegates that the companies were not doing all they could to enable freedom of expression.
Microsoft might also be concerned about China’s software piracy, which continues to be a major problem for the Redmond giant and other purveyors of intellectual property.