Why Weibo is in Trouble

Given that Twitter is outlawed in China, Sina Corporation, one of China’s most innovative internet companies, ditheir own version called Weibo.  In a recent article in Finacial Times, author Charles Clover takes a deeper dive into why the IPO offering in the US was a major disappointment.

The market of tech stock has changed slightly in the past couple of months. The top brass in Beijing equates this to market turbulence.  But analysts here in the US make the argument that  it has a lot more to do with censorship in a communist government.

“Since last August, tens of thousands of Weibo user accounts have been deleted and dozens of its most famous and high-profile users have been jailed or detained for “rumour mongering”. Many users have left for mobile messenger WeChat, run by rival Tencent.”

This to be is a fascinating aspect of Social Media differences around the world.  In the US, you can incense a nation into political demonstrations, invite “flash mobs” to meet and  reek havoc in a certain location, criticize the highest level politicians in the land and even learn how to assemble a bomb using social media.   All while Chinese residents have to censor their conversation for fear of jail time.

The rhetorical questions that I would like to ask are, which of us are better off, and do Americans realize their freedoms?  Is there a happy medium?  It harkens me back to the famous line from Spider Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.”  I would love to take a poll on how many Americans realize the personal responsibility that goes  along with unleashing the “power of the internet”.

I’ve spoken about this topic many times this semester, and I don’t think any of us at this moment have the answer.  It is scary, murky water out there.

And with that, I’ll leave it to the readers to reflect and decide for themselves.


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