Who's in Favor of Internet Controls?

Web restrictions hurt 80 percent of member companies, but a small minority doesn't mind

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In a country famous for its Great Firewall, it's not surprising that almost four in five member companies report that their business is negatively impacted by internet controls. In the 2016 Business Climate Survey, nearly 80 percent of members said internet censorship impacted their businesses negatively or somewhat negatively. Indeed, just last month, the Office of the US Trade Representative officially added the Great Firewall, which blocks many sites including Google and Facebook, to its annual list of trade impediments.

And yet the above chart also reveals that a small minority of companies which view these restrictions differently. More than 20 percent of respondents to the 2016 Business Climate Survey indicated that internet censorship positively or somewhat positively impacts their ability to conduct business normally in China. These companies are primarily small to medium enterprises with less than 1,000 employees. Companies that produce physical products such as healthcare products or consumer goods also tend to be unconcerned with internet censorship. The hospitality and travel leisure sector also recognizes benefits in internet censorship. A walled-off internet can cut off access to competitors for these companies.