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Digital Dilemmas: Transnational Politics in the Twenty-First Century

Internet and the State
M.I. Franklin

As this article was being completed, the"unhappy marriage" between the Google Corporation and the Chinese central government was all but over.1 In late March 2010, the company announced the withdrawal of its core business from mainland China, the largest market of internet-users to date (around 400 million currently), thereby curtailing its future access to an even larger pool of would-be"googlers" (1.3 billion and rising) for the foreseeable future.2 It is a moot point whether this stand-off between the leadership of the world's most populous country and fastest-growing economy and one of the most powerful corporations in the global ICT/media sector today can be read simply as a"public-private partnership" gone wrong or rather as an example of a socially responsible transnational corporation championing principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)