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China Pushes Censorship Amidst Google Threat

This week, headlines were filled with Google's bold statement that it might pull out of China altogether in response to hacker attacks.

"These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the Web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China," said Google's Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.

"We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China," were the telling words from Drummond.

While the threat of the world's most important internet company pulling its operations from within a country is serious, the Chinese officials have yet to even flinch.

According to Bloomberg, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular briefing in Beijing today that Chinese law prohibits hacking and other forms of online attacks.

Jiang Yu said, "The Chinese government administers the Internet according to law and we have explicit stipulations over what content can be spread on the Internet."

While the Chinese spokeswoman did not directly apply that statement to Google, the message appears clear that if Google is unwilling to play by the country's censorship laws, then the internet giant has no place in China.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • MitchMeister-
    I say screw em. A free open source company like Google has no place in an obviously fascist country that censors and restricts everything. If they don't want Google, why should Google want to stay? (minus the obvious 6 billion clicks...)
    Reply
  • CoderDunn
    Is anyone really surprised?

    Looks like there is actually a good chance google will abandon china ...

    Of course then china will just release it's own search engine that censors every website that doesn't praise the republic.
    Reply
  • Shadow703793
    Chinese law prohibits hacking and other forms of online attacks.
    O RLY?

    I'm sure the Chinese gov't spends $$$ on training hackers for the Chinese Cyber Army.
    Reply
  • porksmuggler
    It's ok they don't need Google when they have Bi-ying

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/13/opinion/lweb13microsoft.html
    http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/11/will-you-boycott-bing.ars
    Reply
  • starryman
    This whole censorship non-sense is just smoke screen. Google cries censorship but China has 6 billion people with growing incomes. BMW launched it's flagship 7 series in China. Rolls Royce sells more cars in China (including Hong Kong) than any other place. It's clear and evident that the Chinese want a cut of the search engine pie and doesn't want Google to conduct business without any kick backs. Bottom line, Google has much more to lose than China. Google "threatening" to leave... ha ha. That's like threatening a super hot chick that you don't want to boink her. In my book Google as of late acts quite communist itself - very controlling and snooping around everyone's gmail and google services. Talk about big brother.
    Reply
  • Upendra09
    Google can't go ahead with it, it would take a humongous bite into their sales
    Reply
  • Gin Fushicho
    Well , Google should get the hell out of there as fast as they can I say, China sounds pissed. If they were dealing with the North Koreans they wouldn't have a building left by now.
    Reply
  • People living in the US cry bloody murder whenever the topic of other countries censoring thing is brought up.

    I just want to point out that the US censors also. We decide that child pornography is not ok but adult pornography is. It's a matter of degree what we think is censorship worthy and what is not and there is not necessarily a moral high ground to take.

    I'm sure there are people in the states that would like some more control on the media their children are exposed to and that's very close to censorship.

    China goes too far in this from our point of view but who is to say where we draw the line is the perfect place?
    Reply
  • is simple that if you want to deal with the chinese government you have to follow their rule or else go away. why that google keep want to stay in china. if google goes away I bet yahoo will rise.
    Reply
  • trih
    Fuck China! I wish companies would stop producing there to teach the communists a lesson.
    Reply