Photo of Ai Weiwei’s Party by Shasha Liu
The planned protests against the Green Dam Youth Escort turned into celebrations on Wednesday, when Chinese authorities suddenly postponed their order of the infamous censorware program. In turn, Lots of young Chinese netizens gathered to turn their Green Dam anger into a feast.
The event, held in the trendy “Green Zone” in Beijing, was supposed to be a part of a larger Internet boycott against the Green Dam on the day mandatory installs were to begin. But it changed into an all day party as news of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s abrupt indefinite postponement reached the objectors.
Around 200 Beijing residents dressed in t-shirts mocking Green Dam arrived to celebrate their victory in the war against censorship. Festivities included matching T-shirts, breakfast, censorship talks and an all-day E-party.
Artist and activist Ai Weiwei, who organized the internet boycott and the protest event, told Reuters:
“This is a very rare example for the government to suddenly push back an important decision the night before it is due to be rolled out.”
Chinese authorities has been under a lot of pressure, not only from the general public, but also from several trade groups and the European, American and Japanese Chambers of Commerce. The U.S. National Association of Manufacturers had even sent a letter of protest, claiming that the Green Dam “raises significant questions of security, privacy, system reliability, the free flow of information and user choice.”
The cancellation of Wednesday’s deadline could be seen as an indication that China is having trouble censoring its citizens and willing to listen when they speak up. Not forgetting that a postponement is not quite the same as an outright cancellation, Ai Weiwei promised that his group would continue to keep an eye on the Chinese government and expressed a strong belief that the young people of China would continue to fight censorship.
It’s especially important to be cautious since MIIT has already told China Daily that it was only a matter of time before the rule gets implemented and that “the government will definitely carry on the directive on Green Dam.”
Meanwhile, several computer companies have already begun installing the software in new computers anyhow. Lenovo, Sony, Acer, Asus and BenQ have all agreed to include the software on new computers, according to the Telegraph. Considering their market share in the Chinese PC market, it almost feels like the protests were for naught and the celebrations came much too early.
Read more on the web :
Green Dam protest turns to celebration for over 200 Chinese youth [The Examiner]
Chinese Web Users Celebrate Green Dam About-Face [newsfactor]
Chinese bloggers hail Green Dam ‘victory’ [Financial Times]