Google digs heels in over censorship

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Schmidt restates web giant's opposition to Chinese policy.

The standoff between Google and China grew even more pronounced last week after chief executive Eric Schmidt restated the web giant’s opposition to internet censorship, according to Bloomberg.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday, Schmidt argued that although it is still currently complying with Chinese laws in censoring search results on its Google.cn site, in a “reasonably short time from now, we will be making some changes there”.

“We love what China is doing as a country and its growth,” Schmidt is reported as saying. “We just don’t like the censorship. We hope to apply some negotiation or pressure to make things better for the Chinese people.”

Google shocked the tech world earlier this month when it revealed that it may pull it operations out of China after discovering that hackers originating in the country had tried to infiltrate its systems with the aim of monitoring the email accounts of human rights activists.

Although Schmidt reportedly added that the firm had already “made a strong statement that we wish to remain in China”, the chances of that happening remain slim, given the Chinese government’s apparently hardline stance on censorship.

“Foreign enterprises in China need to adhere to China's laws and regulations, respect the interests of the general public and cultural traditions and shoulder corresponding responsibilities. Google is no exception," a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said last week.

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