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Beyond the Fold

December 2011
Volume 6
No. 12


Increased Censorship in China


Yelp Joins Other Internet Companies and Files for IPO



Re:NEW Michigan 








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Eiler Communications is a public relations and marketing communications firm in Ann Arbor, MI.  We specialize in new and traditional media marketing, serving established and emerging companies in the communications
technology, financial services, biotechnology and healthcare industries.


 Increased Censorship in China


It is common knowledge that China maintains surveillance over its individuals internet usage. They impose internet firewalls to prevent its citizens from using social media sites and other sites that China deems unacceptable.


The Chinese Communist Party leaders have designed their list of what is acceptable for internet viewing in China, as part of their "cultural development guidelines".  Beginning in early November of 2011, China has begun acting on this list and imposed increased controls with social media sites. They will be penalizing people who are found guilty of spreading any information they deem to be harmful. It had been the case that China ignored services that people purchased to evade the censorship, but recently companies such as WiTopia, provider of service to bypass internet firewall blocks, claim that those services are now being targeted by the Chinese government. WiTopia, among others, provides virtual private networks (VPNs) which allows for users to access sites blocked by the firewalls. According to the Economist, China is recently aiming "to make the use of Gmail and paid-for VPN services more inconvenient, but not to cut off access altogether".


This increased censorship has begun to affect corporations who have internal VPNs to enable secure corporate communications as well as foreigners who rely on services that China's firewall disrupts or cuts off access to.




Ashley Ferremi




new  Yelp Joins Other Internet Companies and Files for IPO  

Founded in 2004 in San Francisco, Yelp is a free online guide that allows for Internet users to give honest reviews about businesses in their area, and makes these reviews accessible to anyone who is interested. This process promotes honest conversation about local hot spots, reducing uncertainty of the quality and public opinion of surrounding businesses. Currently, Yelp has gathered more than 22 million reviews of restaurants, salons, and other businesses, and in last quarter approximately 61 million visitors viewed the site. However, even though the website is very popular among Internet users, Yelp is not yet profitable in the public markets this year.     


Recently in the news, there have been many reports of Internet companies, such as Groupon filing for IPOs, and Yelp has recently made the decision to follow this trend. Soon investors will be extended the offer to become partial owners of the company, and the plan for the initial public offering is valuing the company between 1 and 2 billion dollars. Yelp is attempting to achieve a successful IPO, mirroring Groupon's results, by having Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc lead the public offering. As of right now, the initial public offering will take place as soon as early next year, according to those close to the company.


Yelp's services are some that will be used as resources for years to come. Those investing in the company are investing in a service that will never expire or go out of style, because we as a society will always value the honest opinions of businesses. Nothing is for certain regarding the results of the IPO, however Yelp's future is looking very bright.


Kathleen Gannon



"ReNEW:Michigan,"™ our brand name for the business radio show, podcast, periodic surveys on business and marketing issues, will become the new name for this newsletter effective in January.


"ReNEW:Michigan" is a running commentary and interviews with business, educational, investment and healthcare leaders from our state.  It highlights all of the good new development occurring across the state in these fields as we continue to reinvigorate Michigan.


               HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!

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