Sunday, December 3, 2023

To suppress critics, China forced Amazon to delete reviews of Xi Jinping’s book

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Amazon decided to delete all comments and ratings linked to a listing on its Chinese site selling Xi Jinping’s speeches and writings after receiving an instruction from Beijing.

This event occurred about two years ago, yet it was just recently reported on by Reuters in a “special report” released on Friday. According to the site, the government demand came after an unfavorable review was posted online. Apparently, Xi Jinping’s ideology of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” is discussed in the book. Pashto, Dari, Sinhala, Hindi, and English are among the languages in which the book has been published.

The decision is a break from Amazon’s usual business methods, given the company’s dependence on consumer evaluations and ratings as part of its platform. According to Reuters, making this sacrifice to placate Xi’s administration is part of the firm’s plan for keeping favour in China. According to a report by Reuters, the business received “an increasing number of requests from (Chinese) watchdogs to delete specific information, primarily politically sensitive stuff” in 2018.

However, as China attempted to brush off the unfavorable attention, it was reported that Xi’s demand was triggered by negative reviews of his book. “I think the problem was less than five stars,” one individual stated.

This is reminiscent of how Apple Inc. has been increasingly loyal to Beijing in recent years. According to the research, Apple agreed with roughly 97 percent of Chinese government demands for information on user devices in 2019. Meanwhile, American companies, such as Yahoo! and Microsoft Corp.’s LinkedIn, have abandoned the Chinese market this year, blaming the country’s increasingly difficult commercial and legal climate.

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