Thursday, April 19, 2007

Only Nixon Could Sue Yahoo

Wang Xiaoning is a Chinese activist currently held by the Chinese government and undergoing torture. So angry with with what has happened, his wife is suing Yahoo.

Wait, what?

Apparently the company gave the government the name which they had because Xiaoning used Yahoo. Yahoo claims they were told it was for a murder investigation--though its impossible to tell they believed the government's claim. Xiaoning's wife clearly doesn't think they did. Of the matter she said:
Yahoo betrayed my husband for their business interests. They literally destroyed my family. All my husband did was express his political views.
Let's get one thing straight. Yahoo didn't destroy your family, the government did. The government's the one that arrested her husband. The government's the one that's holding him. The government's the one that's torturing him. Not Yahoo.

The sad part is that firms working in China are getting a healthy dose of rent extraction: when a government threatens X action (like making it difficult/impossible to do business in their country) preventable only in exchange for Y benefit (in this case, the name of a political activist). China's the one with a gun not just to the husband's head but Yahoo's as well. Don't blame Yahoo because a government forced them to break their promise. Blame China.

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