Official: Google's China changes in line with law

Jul 20, 2010 By JOE McDONALD , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- China renewed Google's Internet license after it pledged to obey censorship laws and stop automatically switching mainland users to its unfiltered Hong Kong site, an official said Tuesday.

It was Beijing's first public comment on its decision to allow to continue operating a website following a public clash over censorship. The company closed its China in March but still offers music and other services in China.

Google promised to "obey Chinese law" and avoid linking to material deemed a threat to national security or social stability, said Zhang Feng, director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's Telecoms Development Department, at a news conference.

Zhang also cited Google's planned "rectification and reform," apparently a reference to the U.S. search giant's commitment in its June 29 renewal application to stop switching users automatically to its Hong Kong search site.

"The rectification and reform in the annual application basically conforms to regulation," Zhang said.

The dispute threatened to shut Google out of China's fast-growing Internet market while also depriving the communist government of an important source of technology in an industry that Beijing is pushing hard to develop.

Google's announcement in January that it might shut down in its China search engine because it no longer wanted to censor results prompted an outcry by Internet users who pleaded with the company to stay.

The communist government promotes Internet use for business and education but tries to block access to material considered subversive or pornographic.

Google closed its China search engine March 22 and started switching users automatically to Hong Kong, which is Chinese territory but has Western-style civil liberties. Google said that was a proposed compromise to uphold the principle of free access to information while obeying Chinese law.

The company said regulators objected to the automatic switching and threatened to revoke its Chinese license if it continued. Google's China site now includes a tab for users to click to be switched to Hong Kong.

"As for the question of Hong Kong, this a matter of the company's internal business conduct," Zhang said.

China is not yet a big moneymaker for Google, accounting for an estimated $250 million to $600 million of Google's projected $28 billion in revenue this year. But industry analysts said the loss of its China platform would have hampered its ability to profit from the expected future growth of the market.

Explore further: Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

China confirms it renewed Google operating license

Jul 11, 2010

(AP) -- China confirmed Sunday it had renewed Google's license to operate after a monthslong standoff over Internet censorship, saying the company had pledged it wouldn't provide "lawbreaking content."

Internet firm in China stops using Google services

Mar 23, 2010

(AP) -- An Internet company run by one of Asia's richest men said Tuesday it has ended its affiliation with Google Inc. as the American search giant stopped censoring the Internet in violation of Chinese ...

Recommended for you

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

6 hours ago

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

UN General Assembly OKs digital privacy resolution

9 hours ago

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution demanding better digital privacy protections for people around the world, another response to Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. government spying.

Online privacy to remain thorny issue: survey

10 hours ago

Online privacy will remain a thorny issue over the next decade, without a widely accepted system that balances user rights and personal data collection, a survey of experts showed Thursday.

Spain: Google News vanishes amid 'Google Tax' spat

Dec 16, 2014

Google on Tuesday followed through with a pledge to shut down Google News in Spain in reaction to a Spanish law requiring news publishers to receive payment for content even if they are willing to give it away.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gunslingor1
not rated yet Jul 20, 2010
Sell outs.. though nice that they included a like to the hong kong site still, if I read that correctly.

No worries... There are plenty of other ways around China cencorship.

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.