Both current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and former CEO Bill Gates have recently spoken out critically about Google’s stance on doing business in China. (See my previous posts, Ballmer Critical Of Google’s China Decision and Like Ballmer, Bill Gates Dings Google On China.)
Now, Ballmer is putting his thoughts in writing … well, electronic writing … via a post on Microsoft’s new blog. Says Ballmer:
Engagement in China and around the world is very important to us, in part because we believe it accelerates access to 21st century technology and services and helps provide the widest possible range of ideas and information. We have done business in China for more than 20 years and we intend to stay engaged, which means our business must respect the laws of China. That’s true for every company doing business in countries around the world: we are all subject to local laws.
At the same time, Microsoft is opposed to restrictions on peaceful political expression, and we have conversations with governments to make our views known. In every country in which we operate, including China, Microsoft requires proper legal authority before we remove any Internet content; and if we remove content, we give users notice.
The statement is similar to what both Ballmer and Gates said last week. Perhaps the most noteworthy thing here is that Ballmer, much like Gates, has started blogging. And both in the same month. The Microsoft Blog launched about three weeks ago; Ballmer has written two of its posts.