Could Skype be prevented from doing business in China? There are rumors that all VoIP systems originating outside the People's Republic could be blocked. Some analysts see this as a form of censorship. A more cynical view is that China wants to protect the franchises of its state-owned telecom companies including China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom. Such action could threaten the growth potential of Skype and other tech giants like Facebook and Twitter.
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The growth of Facebook and Twitter has been mostly in Western nations. Skype probably has a wider geographic customers base, but says that only 6% of its subscribers are in China. Facebook plans to boost marketing in Russia. Whether it will meet with any resistance from the government there remains to be seen. Facebook's new $50 billion valuation is almost certainly linked to its expansion potential outside its home market.
Censorship and the control of voice and personal communications has been less significant in countries other than China. Western companies such Research In Motion have found that some nations with limited free speech rights will only tolerate Western communications technology to a point. India has threatened to shut down the BlackBerry network in its country, claiming that "security concerns" are the reason for this decision. India does not want encrypted data to move freely among its residents.