China's state press takes a stab at Google

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China's state press takes a stab at Google

Search firm accused of enforcing American norms on China.

China's state run media has hit out at Google, claiming that the search firm is trying to enforce American norms on China's culture.

China Radio International and Xinhuanet have published articles that will have been approved by the Chinese government, arguing that China champions openness and that Google is prejudiced towards the country.

The articles further accuse Google of abandoning business opportunities for the sake of its political beliefs.

The stories follow reports that Google will shut down its operations in China by 10 April.

Relations between Google and China started to deteriorate when hackers were said to have compromised Gmail accounts belonging to human rights campaigners, as well as around 30 other web firms' customer accounts.

Serious questions were raised about the likelihood of the attacks being in some way sanctioned by the Chinese government.

Google took a tough stance after the incident and threatened to pull out of China altogether if its search product had to continue complying with the government's political censorship demands.

The China Radio International report accuses Google of lashing out at the Chinese government without evidence, and suggested that China's online censorship programme is not out of the ordinary.

"No country will allow information about subversion, separation, racialism and terrorism to circulate in it through the internet," the report said.

"China's openness to the world is widely seen. China will also make every effort to perfect its regulations on the internet, but this is the country's internal affair, as it is in other countries.

The report goes on to accuse Google of entering the Chinese market not for commercial reasons "but to act as a tool to penetrate into the Chinese culture as well as into Chinese people's values".

"How can people believe that the company's search results are without any bias when it lacks independence as well as business ethics?" it continues.

"It is ridiculous and arrogant for an American company to attempt to change China's laws. The country doesn't need a politicised Google or Google's politics."

Xinhuanet is the online news service of the Xinhua news agency and has published a similar report.

In response to the stories from China, a Google spokesman said: "We have repeatedly made clear that we are not going to comment on our discussions with the Chinese government."

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