Google boss calls for 'freedom of speech' in China

November 4, 2013

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt called on China to open up Internet access and voiced concern at its latest crackdown on online freedoms in an interview in Hong Kong Monday.

"I have a strong opinion and my opinion is there should be freedom of speech to pursue one's goals for ideas," he told the South China Morning Post.

Schmidt was visiting as part of a programme to encourage young entrepreneurs in the city.

He said China would need to open up in order to grow and criticised the mainland's latest move against "online rumours", which could mean prison for authors of defamatory messages re-posted 500 times.

"Google believes very strongly in a free Internet. The mainland just passed the law about the 500 reposts thing. Then you will definitely think about it before you write. It's a problem, (it) means your voice is not fully heard," said Schmidt.

He also attacked China's one-child policy, calling it a "terrible mistake" because it had led to an ageing population.

"We want more Chinese people, not fewer. You need to stop it now. You should have stopped it 10 years ago," he told the SCMP.

In a separate interview in Hong Kong Monday, Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal that China's Internet censorship meant Google had no current plans to expand there.

Google abandoned its Chinese-language search engine in mainland China in 2011 and transferred it to Hong Kong.

"China's censorship regime has gotten significantly worse since we left, so something would have to change before we come back," he told the Wall Street Journal.

Explore further: Google searches in China blocked despite censorship halt

Related Stories

China renews Google's operating licence

September 7, 2011

China said Wednesday it had renewed Google's licence to operate in the world's largest online market, after the US company last year moved its Chinese search engine overseas in protest over censorship.

Google says it will shut China music service (Update)

September 21, 2012

(AP)—Google Inc. said Friday it will close a music download service in China, further reducing its presence in the world's most populous Internet market two years after the company closed its mainland search engine in a ...

Google boss says US data spying is "outrageous"

November 4, 2013

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said reports that the US government spied on the Internet giant's data centres were "outrageous" and potentially illegal if proved true, in an interview Monday.

Recommended for you

AI machine achieves IQ test score of young child

October 6, 2015

Some people might find it enough reason to worry; others, enough reason to be upbeat about what we can achieve in computer science; all await the next chapters in artificial intelligence to see what more a machine can do ...

Dutch create world's largest man-made wave

October 5, 2015

In a country where most people live below sea level, studying the oceans is a matter of survival. Now Dutch scientists have created the world's biggest man-made wave in a bid to prepare for the worst.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.