" the Zoom is to the orders of the people's Republic of China ? "This is the question posed today, of chinese activists living abroad and to hong Kong, the accounts of which Zoom have been closed after intervention of the chinese authorities. The information site american Axios has revealed that, on June 7, the platform of videoconferencing has closed the account of a former student leader of the 1989 protests on tiananmen square, Zhou Fengsuo, now in exile in the United States.
similarly, Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the Alliance of hong Kong in support of democracy movements and patriotic of China, which organises the commemorations of the massacre in the former british colony, has seen its own account Zoom suspended from the end of may.
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Zhou Fengsuo was organized may 31, Zoom on a video conference in commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the massacre of the demonstrators, giving voice to survivors and mothers of students killed. Two hundred and fifty persons were added, mainly in the United States, but also for some of Beijing.
The June 4, 1989, the people's Republic of China was crushed in blood, the Spring of Beijing, wide pro-democracy movement, the people's liberation Army killing between several hundred and several thousand protesters. In mainland China, the memory of these events is systematically censored. It is, however, maintained by survivors who have fled abroad, and the pro-democracy movement in hong Kong, the last place in China where the massacre is publicly commemorated, during a vigil for the anniversary, for the past 30 years.
Co-operation of Zoom with China
Lee Cheuk-yan, the Alliance of hong Kong, had been reported as early as may 27, in a post to Facebook the closing of his account Zoom. It is realized on the occasion of a video conference that was broadcast on the 22 may, in which should intervene the activist in hong kong Cen Zijie. "My account Zoom was blocked, so we have done otherwise," says Lee Cheuk-yan. "I asked why Zoom. They have never responded. I pay a subscription for a year ! Even just as a customer, I am deceived... " But why Zoom does it have suspended his account ?
" there is a very big oversight of China on hong Kong ", he says. "We know that Zoom is not safe. But we use it precisely in order to reach people in China, because the application is not blocked there. Even so, the participants of our conferences based in China are very few. But the authorities absolutely do not want that what we say is heard in China. Someone had to tell on you. "The chinese authorities would, therefore, intervened with Zoom to suspend the accounts. "Why Zoom has he responded to the complaint of the chinese authorities ? "asked Lee Cheuk-yan. "There is nothing that requires Zoom to submit to the chinese demand. The self-censorship and the co-operation of Zoom with agencies in china, to block China information coming from abroad or from hong Kong, are very dangerous. "
Hint of monitoring chinese
In a press release, Zoom is explained by referring laconically to the local law : "like any global company, we must submit to the laws applicable in the jurisdictions in which we operate. When a meeting is held between different countries, the participants in the different countries are required to comply with local laws. "This text therefore implies that the chinese participants in the meeting have violated the chinese law. However, Zoom is not banned in China, and no law prohibits an official commemoration of the events, even if the authorities prevent it, nor to follow a commemoration taking place abroad, at a distance.
Zoom is also an american company. Founded in 2011 by Eric Yuan, an american engineer of chinese origin, the platform has proved a huge success since the beginning of the pandemic Covid-19, with the development of education and remote work, adopted by schools and universities as firms, and even governments that are strategic, of the army to the ministers. She had been pointing the finger at the beginning of April when the media had discovered that packets of data that were not identified were sent in China during the conversations. In the Face of the controversy, Zoom has quickly restored the account of Zhou Fengsuo, installed in the United States. But the account of Lee Cheuk-yan remains inaccessible.