March 22, 2010

Google Accused Of Political Agenda In China Row

China's state news agency accused Google Inc of forcing a political agenda by falsely claiming the Chinese government supported hacker attacks and by pushing its culture, ideas, and values on the country.

The Chinese government's Internet censorship, which Google has said is one of the main reasons the company may quit China, has been defended by China's state media.

The news agency says "it is unfair for Google to impose its own value and yardsticks on Internet regulation to China, which has its own time-honored tradition, culture and value."

The China Business News reported on Friday that Google could announce as early as Monday whether it will pull out of China.

Two months ago, Google claimed it was the victim of a sophisticated hacking plot that originated inside China, and the company said it would no longer bow down to the country's censorship rules even if that meant shutting down its Chinese site.

Since the claim, the two sides have been butting heads. But, according to Google's chief executive, Eric Schmidt, there is hope of a suitable outcome from talks with Chinese officials.

China demands censorship of words and images streamed over the Internet that they see as unacceptable, including anything involving politically sensitive material. Officials have also blocked the popular sites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The news agency accused Google of violating international standards. "In fact, no country allows unrestricted flow on the Internet of pornographic, violent, gambling or superstitious content, or content on government subversion, ethnic separatism, religious extremism, racialism, terrorism and anti-foreign feelings," noted in commentary from the news agency.

Writers from the agency said that China's Internet development would prosper without Google, stating that the company would be the "biggest loser." Whether Google bails out or stays, the Chinese government will keep its regulatory principles unchanged on Internet topics. It would be ridiculous for one company to think it could change China's rules and legal system when it comes to the Internet, the writers said.

Google, a global leader in search on Internet, is a distant second in China, as the lead search engine is Baidu Inc. The Chinese search engine has benefited from the battle. Baidu's shares have soared more than 44 percent since Google announced it may pull out of the Chinese market.


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