The appointment of Kathy Chen as Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) managing director for China continues to evoke mixed reactions. Her appointment is a big concern especially for a dedicated group of Chinese users who fear the company could be planning to introduce Beijing-style censorship on the platform.
Chen’s Industrious Career
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) says it appointed Chen to help them develop ways in which businesses in the country can make good use of the platform’s technology assets. Chen’s appointment comes even as the social networking site remains blocked in the Communist nation.
According to Chen’s profile on LinkedIn, she was the CEO of CA-Jinchen between 1999 and 2005. The profile goes on to detail her role at the company, which involved working on solutions and security applications.
Some of the products she helped developed were used by Chinese government agencies, which many people believe could have been used to spy on people. There are also reports she worked on internet-filtering products for the country’s great firewall.
The tech giant has already also refuted suggestions that Ms. Chen developed censorship technologies during her tenure at CA-Jinchen.
“Her focus was selling antivirus solution and content management software to enterprises. Nothing to do with Internet filtering,” the company said.
Twitter’s defense however does not add up given that a 2004 interview on Sohu.com suggests that Chen was the brainchild behind an antivirus dubbed ‘email filtering gateway.’ The technology was reportedly developed to help in the filtering of viruses and spam in addition to other harmful information.
The social media giant maintains that the interview sought to provide info on how the anti-virus could be used to detect harmful info rather than as a censorship tool.
Given Chen’s industrious career at state-owned enterprises, many people believe she is well connected to China’s ruling Communist party. A Twitter representative has already refuted the sentiments reiterating that her focus on the new role will be on sales and not politics.