By: Konrad Holden
Amazon, America’s biggest retailer, recently killed one of its popular features to satisfy the Chinese government and continue doing business in the communist country. The Chinese Communist Party ordered the American company to suspend customer book reviews after some of President Xi Jinping’s books received low ratings. Amazon has partnered with a Chinese state-owned firm to start a project called China Books that does not allow negative reviews of Chinese Communist literature.
It used to be that a tyrannical government would have to find you after you spoke against them.
Now they can just keep you from speaking altogether.
The Chinese Communist Party just forced Amazon to stop allowing negative reviews on communist propaganda like Xi Jinping’s “Incredible Xinjiang: Stories of Passion and Heritage.” The book denies any of the well-documented mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims in China.
Reuters reported that the “Chinabooks” project was central to the company’s ability to penetrate the Chinese market and sell their eReaders and cloud computing services, according to internal documents and interviews.
One internal document says, “The key element to safeguard is the Chinabooks project.”
Amazon told Reuters that they always follow applicable laws in whatever country they operate, including China.
“As a bookseller, we believe that providing access to the written word and diverse perspectives is important. That includes books that some may find objectionable,” the company said.
“Ideological control and propaganda is the core of the toolkit for the communist party to achieve and maintain its success. We are not making judgement on whether it is right or wrong.” - Internal Amazon document