Google's Little Trouble in Big China

Foreign Ministry spokesman says Google must abide by Chinese law, despite allegations of hack attacks

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    Google-powered mobile phones are being withheld from the market in China over the ogoing tussle between the Mountain View company and Chinese officials.

    In ongoing talks between U.S. and Chinese officials, China has denied accusations by Google that it commissioned or condoned attacks on companies or individual activists, according to Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell.

    While a State Department official earlier said that it would not intervene in the dispute between Google and the Chinese government, diplomats have been in talks with China over Internet freedom, which the United States told reporters is a "universal right that should be available to all people."

    A spokesman for China's foreign ministry, who argued that the country prohibits computer hacking in any form, countered during a news briefing that:

    Foreign enterprises in China need to adhere to China's laws and regulations, respect the interests of the general public and cultural traditions and shoulder corresponding responsibilities. Google is no exception.

    Google announced last week that it was going to stop censoring search results for users of the Chinese version of its website in response to what it alleges is a sophisticated campaign of industrial espionage on the part of the Chinese government, and possibly quit doing business in the country altogether.

    The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China announced in an email yesterday that reporters at news bureaus in Beijing had found their Gmail accounts compromised.

    Today Google also announced that it would not release two smartphones, one from Motorola and another from Samsung, that run Google's Android mobile operating system, in China.

    Google's Android smartphones integrate a number of Google products, including search, maps and email, but the company might be forced out of the country if Chinese officials choose to block the site over uncensored search results.

    Jackson West figures Google will eventually knuckle under, since they always have in the past.