James Fallows makes this great point in his Sunday opinion piece, “Can China Escape the Low-Wage Trap?”:

In much of America, the Internet is slow [compared with South Korea or Japan], but mainly for infrastructure reasons. In China it’s slow because of political control: censorship and the “Great Firewall” bog down everything and make much of the online universe impossible to reach. “What country ever rode to pre- eminence by fighting the reigning technology of the time?” a friend asked while I was in China last year. “Did the Brits ban steam?”