According to the reports “Eric Schmidt, who is visiting Burma (Myanmar) after spending two days in India, drew applause from the crowd when he spoke of the need for the government to adopt a hands-off approach to the Web.”
Eric Schmidt continued to implore Asian governments to adopt an open approach to the Internet after the Google Executive Chairman told an audience in Yangon, Myanmar, that a free Web will bring more benefits to the country than a policed one.
Around 1 percent of Burma’s near-50 million populations has Internet access and — though tech companies are beginning to enter – adoption of mobile devices remains very low. Just 3 percent of the populations were thought to own a phone of any description in 2011, according to The World Bank.
Like with North Korea, India and other emerging markets, Schmidt emphasized the Internet as a tool for social, economic and political advancement. He explained that the Web won’t allow Myanmar to “go back” to its time as a nation that was closed off from the rest of the world.
Google yesterday opened a dedicated local search site — Google.com.mm — while restrictions around its Google Play app store for Android phones appeared to have partially lifted, although downloads were not possible. Schmidt went on record saying that Google would work to improve access to information by developing its search, translation and mapping services in the country.
“Right now the thing Google can do most is to get the information into the country,” he said.