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China flexes its muscles, balks at Google in online censorship battle: reports

A resolution between China and Google appeared less likely over the weekend in its months-long dispute over online censorship.

According to the New York Times, Chinese offiicals have warned Google's partners they had to abide by Chinese laws on censorship, even if Google didn't. The Times quotes an industry source with knowledge of the discussions and highlights a more aggressive approach by China in recent days against Google's threats to leave the nation if it is forced to continue censoring. Google has been backed by the U.S. government in its stand against censorship.

The story comes after a Washington Post story Saturday, where John Promfret wrote from Beijing that China is telling Google to obey Chinese law or "pay the consequences."

Google threatened last January it would pull out of China if the government continued to force it to censor Internet search results. This doesn't bode well for CEO Eric Schmidt's hope to resolve its conflict with the government soon. He commented last week that the company and China were getting close to a resolution.

In a fascinating read Monday, Pomfret put that issue into a broader context of China moving asserting greater authority and more defiance toward the West.

Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez has called for a tighter grip on Internet sites that have reported critical news of him, which he says is false.

In a televised speech, Chavez said on Saturday: "The Internet can't be something free where anything can be done and said. No, every country has to impose its rules and regulations."

By Cecilia Kang  |  March 15, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Google , International  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: FCC responds to questions about broadband speed tests
Next: Is Internet privacy dead? No, just more complicated: researchers

Comments

Google "would pull out of China if the government continued to force it to censor..."?
Nobody forced it to do so. Google knew and chose to abide by Chinese law 4 years ago when entering China market. I am looking forward to its leaving China as my Baidu stock is rocketing.

Posted by: eastman1 | March 15, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Puh-lease. Google has already teamed up with the NSA and they're lobbying for net neutrality regulation. Google loves big government when it increases their profits. F..k Google.

Posted by: millionea7 | March 15, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Shareholders had better tell GOOGLE to stop trippin' before China kicks it to the curb for good...


Posted by: demtse | March 15, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Don't be evil, Google.

Posted by: Mickey2 | March 15, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

You may disagree with the way some things are done in China, but you can't tell them how to run their own place. Clearly, Google is being arrogant and ideological at the expense of running a business in an ever-growing market. Take a leaf out of Toyota, who is hanging on despite the beatings and trying to work with the political establishment (e.g. Congress hearings) in the US to still maintain a market presence. That's called smart business.

Bottomline: If you don't like the political or the economic climate of a country, don't go there. If you go there, try and work within the rules to run your business. Else you can simply leave cos, like someone said, the sun won't stop shining if you leave.

Posted by: srakesh | March 15, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Actually, China has all but forced Google to leave. The stories in the European press paint an even bleaker picture than the American press. The Chinese government has been strong arming Google and every other U.S. and European telecom, search engine, and computer company to act as government agents in exposing anyone critical of them r their policies. Giving into this. for mere market share, risks a negative backlash that will cost them far more in the long run. I am frankly surprise that we haven't heard from Apple, IBM, Boeing, Amazon, and a lot of other companies that have been pushed by that government to act like their thugs. Eventually, though, one way or another, they will all be pulling out of China... or they will be thrown out of the U.S. and Europe.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | March 15, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, China has all but forced Google to leave. The stories in the European press paint an even bleaker picture than the American press. The Chinese government has been strong arming Google and every other U.S. and European telecom, search engine, and computer company to act as government agents in exposing anyone critical of them r their policies. Giving into this. for mere market share, risks a negative backlash that will cost them far more in the long run. I am frankly surprise that we haven't heard from Apple, IBM, Boeing, Amazon, and a lot of other companies that have been pushed by that government to act like their thugs. Eventually, though, one way or another, they will all be pulling out of China... or they will be thrown out of the U.S. and Europe.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | March 15, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

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