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China media accuse Google of violating promises

BEIJING — China's government reacted testily Tuesday to Google Inc.'s decision to stop censoring its China-based search engine, calling the move "totally wrong" and accusing the company of violating promises.

More than two months after it threatened to shut down Google.cn if it had to continue policing the site, Google made the shift early Tuesday Beijing time. Visitors to Google.cn are automatically redirected to the Chinese-language service based in Hong Kong, where Google is not legally required to censor searches.

"Google has violated its written promise it made when entering the Chinese market by stopping filtering its searching service and blaming China in insinuation for alleged hacker attacks," an official with the State Council Information Office, a Cabinet office that oversees the Internet, said in a statement carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.

"This is totally wrong. We're uncompromisingly opposed to the politicization of commercial issues, and express our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conducts," said the official, who was with the office's Internet bureau but not further identified.

The Hong Kong page heralded the shift Monday. "Welcome to Google Search in China's new home." The site also began displaying search results in the simplified Chinese characters used in mainland China.

The move, in effect, shifts the responsibility for censoring from Google and to the communist government, which operates an extensive monitoring and filtering system to block content deemed unacceptable. Users in China were unable to retrieve searches on sensitive topics.

In Beijing, a few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on a large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office. A large gathering of some of Google's 600 staff was held in a first floor cafeteria. Google spokeswoman Jessica Powell said the meeting was called to update staff about the situation, but she declined to give details.

"We haven't worked out all the details so we can't ever rule out letting people go but we very much want to avoid that," said Powell. "The sales presence to a certain degree could depend on the success of google.com.hk."

March 23, 2010    asgardh7@
THE TROUBLE IS GOOGLE THINKS IT'S RUNNING THE WORLD, GOOGLE IS TOO BIG HEADED...WELL DONE CHINA.
March 24, 2010    victorlowt@
I AM A DEVOUT CHINESE RESIDING OVERSEAS FOR A LONG PERIOD OF MY LIFE.

I AM PROUD OF MY COUNTRY, AND I LIKE VISITING CHINA, BUT TO LIVE PERMANENTLY IN THAT KIND OF "CLOSED" SOCIETY? Forget it.

lowaitok (edmonton)
March 25, 2010    cigars898@
asgardh7@ wrote:
THE TROUBLE IS GOOGLE THINKS IT'S RUNNING THE WORLD, GOOGLE IS TOO BIG HEADED...WELL DONE CHINA.
I think it's more about Chicoms fearing that its own citizens will learn the truth about the history that has been so carefully covered up.
March 26, 2010    carltanong@
@cigars898
Even the European Countries are having trouble with Google.
It's better for you to stop smoking.
March 29, 2010    mtsai16@
If we substituted Yahoo in place of the Chinese Communist Party, would Google dig up pile after pile of dirt on Yahoo?

Most people would immediately think of Google's antics as dirty politics in a dog-eat-dog world.

In light of this, isn't Google being a bit hypocritical with its noble motto "Don't be evil"?
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 China media accuse Google of violating promises 
A man walks past flowers placed by a Chinese journalist outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing, China, Tuesday, March 23, 2010. (AP)

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