Zoom blocks users when China wants it to

The video conferencing platform Zoom has admitted to having suspended the account of Chinese human rights activists based in the US at Beijing's behest. The company announced that it would no longer restrict accounts and activities outside China, but would continue to exclude participants in China from discussions if Beijing requests it to. Commentators alternate between outrage and resignation.

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Handelsblatt (DE) /

This is how you lose trust

Zoom's submission sends a dramatic signal, Handelsblatt contents:

“A US company has bowed to Beijing's desire for censorship of political views. Worse, the lesson for Zoom isn't that the decision was a mistake. Rather, Zoom wants to grant a kind of internal censorship option in the future, with which users can be excluded from video conferences based on their location. Zoom founder Eric Yuan, a Chinese-American billionaire, had promised to do everything possible to make his company trustworthy. The case of shutting down the accounts of dissidents in the US at Beijing's behest shows: Zoom doesn't build trust, but gambles it away.”

Der Spiegel (DE) /

That's the free market

All the fuss over the tech company is pointless, Der Spiegel says:

“Zoom never claimed it wanted to make the world a better place. Zoom wants to make money with its video chat service, so it avoids getting into trouble with governments. ... Global internet services will always fall afoul of the law somewhere. On the other hand, there will never be one thing: a billion-dollar listed tech company that unconditionally sides with those in need of protection and refuses to offer its services in any country where this protection can be weakened by the laws or the regime. Those who want to maximise their profits sometimes have to put human rights aside - that is the price that capitalism demands from humanity.”