China to Google: Censor or 'pay the consequences'

China to Google: Censor or 'pay the consequences'

Summary: China sent Google its most direct message yet on the search giant's plan to stop censoring its results.According to a bevy of reports, Li Yizhong, the minister of Industry and Information Technology, said Google has to obey China's laws---and that means censoring search results.

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China sent Google its most direct message yet on the search giant's plan to stop censoring its results.

According to a bevy of reports, Li Yizhong, the minister of Industry and Information Technology, said Google has to obey China's laws---and that means censoring search results. The Associated Press has the money quote:

"If you want to do something that disobeys Chinese law and regulations, you are unfriendly, you are irresponsible and you will have to pay the consequences."

Li added that it's Google's call whether the company wants to leave China. Li also noted that China's Internet market will continue to develop.

Special Report: Google, China showdown

And there's the conundrum. China promises great growth prospects, but there are many strings for Web giants to ponder. Censorship is probably the biggest. As noted before, Google risks little in the short run by exiting China. The big question is the long-term hit.

In any case, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said something will happen soon with this showdown with China. China isn't budging so perhaps Google will just bolt.

More: Assessing Google's showdown with China

Topics: Google, Browser, Government, Government US, China

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191 comments
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  • Sic'em, Hu, and get your lackey Steve Job...

    ...onto their backs. Tag-team style. Let freedom ring! From "think different" to "don't think".
    Feldwebel Wolfenstool
    • Nobody is preventing Google from leaving

      ... so what are they waiting for? All this posing is getting silly and old. Looks like Google just wants a goat to lay the blame on for their exit.
      LBiege
    • Who cares about Google and it is not the only one...

      There are so many choices and Google even is not
      a NO 1 in China and many other places.

      Google is just a kind of thing which is nice to
      have ... it is ok to not have it ...

      I don't even have its socks.

      Who cares about it?

      I totally lose my respect to this company since
      it is obviously doing a silly and stupid move.
      Elibom
    • All because of business, neither democracy nor politics ...

      The real story I can tell is this happened are
      due to Google's obligation from all related US
      and China laws and regulations.

      In China, for a internet service provider like
      Google, Yahoo, Baidu and Microsoft, it is
      mandatory to do some filtering on search
      results. This has been there for many many
      years. It is not a secret.

      In US, it is mandatory to satisfy certain
      business obligation if a company wants to do
      business with US government. This is due to US
      regulation and laws. It is not a secret too.
      Many defense companies follow these regulations,
      such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Unite
      technologies and L3.

      Google is negotiating a service or defense
      contract with US government. One of the pre-
      requirements for being granted this kind of
      contracts is that Google can't help China
      government do the censorship. Therefore Google
      is facing the difficult in obeying either US
      laws or China laws. In order to secure the
      potential very lucrative US government contract,
      Google has been in talk with China government on
      some possible compromise for several month.
      The result is China government refused any
      compromise and Google has to make a choice.

      After calculating the short-term business
      benefits of US government contract and the
      payback of China market in short term, Google
      decided to partially leave China market. (In
      fact, Google is not doing so well in China
      market.)

      This is my understanding ...

      The fact is, the Google's decision is a pure
      business decision, really not much about China
      democracy or China censorship. If it is not
      because of the US government contracts, Google
      will stay in China as usual.

      If you are looking at how Boeing, Lockheed
      martin, United Technologis are doing business in
      China, you will understanding this
      Elibom
      • Hmmm, what country to you swear allegiance to?

        Based on your awkward sentence structure, your aversion to the use of
        articles and the mismatch of tense in what you've written here can we
        assume you are speaking for the Chinese? Seems that way and that's
        OK just as long as we know what the motivation is.

        It is possible for a big company; even a really big company like
        Google, to act on principle. Trust is all Google has and if users come
        to think their data and the integrity of searches are only as good as
        what it buys for Google with whatever country it resides in, then
        Google will have trashed its greatest asset.

        I disagree with your 'understanding' and think the only 'business
        decision' Google is making in this case is to keep that trust and take
        the high road.
        jnoel1
      • What a load of CRAP

        thats the LAMEST excuse I've ever seen here.
        anyone with 1/2 a brain can see that the whole thing you wrote is made up CRAP!!!

        I WISH Google had government contracts (good-bye M$!!) but the fact is they don't, and everything you wrote is pure made up CRAP.

        Your english is good for a Chinese, but not good enough. heres an english word for you -

        MORON!!!
        Ron Bergundy
  • RE: China to Google: Censor or 'pay the consequences'

    Google might gain more by leaving the market. They will
    gain political credibility with customers in the West and
    become irresistible "forbidden fruit" to potential
    Chinese customers.

    It won't be long before Chinese hackers (rather than
    trying to hack Google) will be delivering ways for
    Chinese Internet users to bypass government censorship
    and regain access Google searches.
    jefmud
    • RE: China to Google: Censor or 'pay the consequences'

      Dead on. Couldn't have said it better.

      gary
      gdstark13
      • Agreed

        Ring China in Black ICE...
        bgrh
    • Hope it works

      But the Chinese bought highly sophisticated network equipments from the US and they allowed them to filter the words and pinpoint the source. When asked, those Corporations would deny it for sure.
      Hope people who use it know how to use good encryption.
      greenoil
      • Big companies don't deny helping China censor

        Companies like HP, Cisco and IBM sell the Chinese government massive amounts of hardware and networking gear to censor and monitor traffic. None of the companies deny it, you can even find some mention it prominently in their sales material (Cisco).

        Generally there is no shame in multi-national corporations. They are perfectly willing to sell anything they can to anybody who has the money to buy it, regardless of consequences.
        terry flores
        • Well, seeing as how they sell those same things to American organizations

          What does it really matter? We are being REALLY hypocritical when we say that private enterprise censoring stuff is okay, but China's government doing so is wrong.
          Lerianis10
    • "political credibility"?

      What is "political credibility"? Show me an example of any company profiting from "political credibility".
      cool_techie
      • Ok...first show me a company with political credibility.

        And there in lies the real problem your question poses. There is hardly a known company in existence that has a real solid "politically credible" history. Most company's don't have much opportunity to make the kind of strong stances or policies needed to gain that reputation and likely the few that might have often have no issue or opportunity to cash in on that credibility.

        I think the proposition of profiting from political credibility is viable, but its just not something that even has much chance of arising very often.
        Cayble
        • Agreed - in fact the WTO forbids any kind of

          action that smacks of anything other than "free market". Hoisted on your (usa) own petard, I would say. Also, the WTO was interested in stopping countries banning imports on 'environmental' grounds, social grounds (like sweat-shop labour) etc. So, maybe we could forgive big business, except that they drive WTO ideology.
          Mahegan
      • Profit and Credibility

        There is money being left on the table in China that is for sure, but overall there is profit in the remaining pie.

        Credibility goes to product quality and consumer protection. Do you think Tylenol would have survived the cynanide poisoning without being ethical and pulling back out of the market and repackaging? Today they are a market leader of safety.

        Look at Toyota's reaction to the brake system problem. Complete hiding of the truth and complete loss of credibility, market share and profits.

        Shawn
        TheRealJayZ
    • And Let's Not Forget Taiwan

      Google will still keep their Chinese language services alive and well for Taiwan, which means that this will deepen the rift between Red China and Taiwan. Just what the Commies want;)

      This is why China should be more accomodating to Google instead of just digging their toes in.
      mejohnsn
    • Excellent response

      Excellent response.
      Liam SWz
  • Send China packing

    Tell them where to stuff their coffee makers, their shoes, they crappy fabrics, their bootleg movies, and their polluted food products.

    And maybe something amazing will happen along the way.... like Americans actually building and making things for themselves!
    croberts
    • Right on!

      I am afraid there is now a generation that has no reference for what good quality merchandise is. The Chinese take over of manufacturing to please the Walmart crowd has resulted in the demise of quality products all across the board. Every industry, every market. If it is made in China, 90% of the time it is JUNK.

      I would rather pay more for better products made by fellow Americans, or at least fellow democracies.

      I hope Google sticks to their new found integrity and tells China to "stick it...".
      pjy1