French press review 10 August 2015 (RFI (France))

Le Monde’s editorial is titled ‘Chinese internet or communist’s intranet.’ The editorial states that Beijing has always seen the advent of public internet since the late 1990s as both an …

It’s an opportunity as the high-tech sector is protected from competition from tech giants. As a result, large Chinese companies like Alibaba and Tencent have taken shape. They are innovative and are no longer content just to copy the American giants. What’s even more impressive is that these groups have shown global ambition.

However, the editorial states that Chinese President and Communist Party leader Xi Jinping seems to be ready to sacrifice innovation to ensure the sustainability of the Communist party’s commands.

The internet is seen as a threat because the regime does not support nor can it control what happens on networks.

The editorial points out that like any totalitarian regime, it seeks to monitor, control and manage. It has built a ‘Great Wall of the Web’ to ensure that a phenomenon like Arab Spring does not come to disturb the peace and harmony of the communist order.

Nevertheless, there was some internet freedom, particularly on Weibo microblog where citizens expressed, criticized and shared their opinions.

But since the arrival of Xi Jinping to power in 2012, such sites have been reduced to a trickle because of censorship.

Since January 2015, the Virtual Private Networks, used to circumvent the ‘Great firewall of China’, have been rendered unusable due to an attack of sophistication never seen before.

The editorial remarks that the dream of the authorities is to transform the Internet into an Intranet.

Le Monde also has a long report on the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal three months ago.

The report states that as a result of the calamitous earthquake, the country faces an exodus of its inhabitants.

Seven of the 30 million Nepalese work abroad, in harsh conditions. Nevertheless, there are many people wanting to get out of the country.

It’s something that the government is trying to curb.

The report narrates the painful story of Ram Bahadur Katwal who lost his wife and son aged one and a half years while he was working in a brickyard thousands of kilometres away in Malaysia.

Despite the help received from the Nepalese government and Red Cross, there isn’t enough money for the inhabitants. As a result, more and more people are trying to find work abroad.

For those interested in sports and French football in particular, there’s an interesting feature on the shock departure of Olympique Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa just one match into the new season. Bielsa had announced his resignation after his side lost 1-0 to Caen on Saturday.

The report terms Bielsa as brilliant, calculating and uncontrollable.

It quotes a member of staff as saying that everyone in the club was scared of offending him and that they lived under a state of permanent blackmail, which could not last forever.