Open letter to US (and other) universities in light of Zoom’s revelations about collaborating with the Chinese Communist Party

  1. Many Chinese students enrolled in US universities are now stuck in China because of visa, airfare costs or other issues. It seems very likely that Chinese and other foreign students won’t be able to make it to US or other foreign campuses in time for the beginning of fall semester, even if we are holding in-person classes. We are all discussing various work-arounds, such as time-zone friendly tutorials, recorded classes, and so on. All of these involve Zoom, and all of them depend on Zoom’s availability in China. We should think, too, why Zoom remains available in China while similar platforms are not. The company’s cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party must be one reason for this, as any unblinkered consideration will recognize. It’s not, as Paul Mozur wrote in the New York Times, because in the cat and mouse game of internet controls in the PRC, the cat has not yet caught up with the mouse and activists found a loophole via “new technology.” We have to be realistic about this.

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James A. Millward 米華健 is professor of history at Georgetown University and mandolinist for By & By.

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James A. Millward

James A. Millward

James A. Millward 米華健 is professor of history at Georgetown University and mandolinist for By & By.

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