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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

After Google Dustup, Should the ­.s. Ban Chinese Computers?


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Should the Google/China spat over censorship start a trade war that puts an end to Chinese-made computers? One international trade lawyer argues that it should: "If China shuts out our Internet companies, we need to shut out their hardware that the Internet runs on."

The sentiment comes from Gil Kaplan, a former Commerce Department official who is now in private practice. Writing at The Huffington Post, Kaplan argued that free trade deals are all about reciprocity—and that the U.S. has opened its markets while China has not. 

Kaplan is particularly incensed at the number of jobs the semiconductor manufacturing business creates in China. He singles out Foxconn, which employs several hundred thousand people and makes gear for companies like Apple. But as China gets the jobs, it continues to block American offerings like YouTube, prevent Western companies from owning businesses outright in China, and favoring local firms.

The current Google/China dispute provides an opportunity to demand that China open up to American business in return for its access to U.S. markets. If not, well... who needs all those Chinese-made computers, anyway?

From Ars Technica
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