China Gets Wired

The Middle Kingdom has embraced the Net as the fastest path to the 21st century

It is a narrow room, a meter and a half wide, decorated with the awkward minimalism that passes for modern chic in the still Communist world: peeling white paint, tilting buffet tables, schoolroom chairs bolted together into haphazard couches. But the attraction here isn't the decor; it's the machines: a beige Compaq Proliant 2500 computer and an off-white Dell Poweredge, hooked into a refrigerator-size rack of network routers and, from there, via a thumb-thick black cable, to the infinite abundance of the Internet. Edward Zeng, the 35-year-old Chinese entrepreneur who commands this tiny outpost in the battle for information freedom, can't...

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