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China expects Google to follow rules

The saga of Google versus China may soon be ending. The confrontation started when Google revealed that it had been the target of a successful hack that originated within China. At the time, Google said that it was considering vacating the Chinese market over the attack and repeated other attempts to hack its servers and mail accounts.

Ultimately, the U.S. government became involved and sought to get China to help fight the increasing number of cyberattacks originating within the communist country. Google later announced that it planned to stop censoring its search results in China. Uncensoring the search results is a violation of Chinese law.

Reuters reports that China today issued a warning to Google as talks between it and Google are seemingly ending. A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce Yao Jian said, "On entering the Chinese market in 2007, it clearly stated that it would respect Chinese law. We hope that whether Google Inc continues operating in China or makes other choices, it will respect Chinese legal regulations. Even if it pulls out, it should handle things according to the rules and appropriately handle remaining issues."

Yau also says that Google leaving China will have no effect on foreign investments in China. Google has already said that it fears uncensoring the search results on its Chinese site could adversely affect the workers at Google's Chinese offices. Chinese officials are about as likely to allow Google to uncensor its search results as Steve Jobs is to start using a Windows Phone 7 device. Odds are these are the last days of Google China unless Google has a rapid change of heart on censoring its search results.


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?
By Flunk on 3/16/2010 12:54:15 PM , Rating: 3
As long as Google doesn't operate any servers in China they aren't bound by Chinese law at all. It's not their responsiblity to make sure that Chinese surfers can't access their foreign-hosted content.




RE: ?
By danobrega on 3/16/2010 1:15:14 PM , Rating: 1
You own a company A, located in country X. You send a product to country B to some customer. Are you required to obey the law of country B? Of course you are. Can the country do anything about it? It can withheld your product on its customs.

You own Google, located in the USA. You send your web pages to China (over the Internet) to the Chinese people. Are you required to obey the law of China? Of course you are. Can China do anything about it? It can block your site with its firewall.


RE: ?
By porkpie on 3/16/2010 1:43:48 PM , Rating: 2
Inaccurate. The situation is far more complex.

If a company sells a product directly to a consumer within a nation, the company is 'doing business within' that nation. If the product is first bought by a distributer or other third party, then imported, the situation is much less clear cut.

In Google's case, if they operate no facilities within China and sell no advertising directly within its borders, it is not bound by Chinese law, according to nominative international law.

However, law is what we make it. China can still pass a law illegalizing acts outside its own borders. However, without any reciprocal treaty status on the law, practically they have no means to enforce it, other than, of course, blocking all Google access via firewall-- something they could do without the law in the first place.


RE: ?
By TheBaker on 3/16/2010 3:58:44 PM , Rating: 1
"In Google's case, if they operate no facilities within China and sell no advertising directly within its borders, it is not bound by Chinese law, according to nominative international law."

Google has offices in China, therefore they are bound by Chinese laws. If they refuse to follow them, they have to close up shop and leave.


RE: ?
By porkpie on 3/16/2010 4:23:48 PM , Rating: 5
Err, that's just what Google is threatening to do-- close down its China operations entirely, and service Chinese search requests only from overseas. It is the scenario upon which this thread is predicated.


RE: ?
By Integral9 on 3/18/2010 4:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
This is just a loose-loose situation for Google. Google will loose income and market share. China will loose nothing as Microsoft will jump in bed w/ the Chinease Gov. faster than a fat kid eats a cup-cake. And I'm betting Microsoft will be happy to sensor anything if it means access to 1/3 of the world's population. They are begging (if not shoving it down our throats) for search engine market share.

Think the Bing surge in market share was out of innovation?
-Step 1: Google bans IE6
-Step 2: Everyone updates their version of IE (which ignores their previous settings resets their search engine to Bing. It also makes it more difficult to change than inputting a search engine URL and clicking ok. I think had to go through 3 or 4 web pages and click ok like 17 times)
-Step 3: Bing's market share doubles.

If Google leaves, they will have shot themselves in the foot to Microsoft's gain twice in a row over the same incident. I don't normally condone censorship, but here I think Google should shut-up and remain the reluctant bed-mate of the Chinese gov. It's better for Google and better for the Chinese people.


RE: ?
By redbone75 on 3/22/2010 12:19:54 PM , Rating: 3
So, do you always capitulate when money is concerned? I for one am glad that Google didn't "just shut up and be the reluctant bed-mate of the Chinese gov[ernment]." They took a stand, and if they follow through and actually do pull out of China they will have sent a bold statement to China, saying, "No, we will not be an agent of oppression. No, we will not allow our technology to be stolen." The welfare of the Chinese people is not ultimately Google's responsibility, it is China's. If Google wishes to absolve itself of the Chinese market, it is their prerogative to do so.


RE: ?
By Setsunayaki on 3/16/2010 10:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
Since when do most sites send web pages to others? 99% of web pages are accessed by a user entering a URL and hitting Enter. Its Chinese people accessing google property directly through their browsers

In this case its not Company A from Country X sending a product to country B. Its citizens from Country B accessing a site which exists in Country X....and the government of Country B demanding that Company A bans Country B from using their products.

Not only is this illegal internationally, but impractical. Its not the Job of Country X to uphold the law of Country B when Country B is accessing the resources of Country X. Its up to Country B to enforce its own citizens and not ask Company A of Country X to enforce the laws of Country B inside the borders of Country X.

This is very common in Asian nations....for them to tell other nations to enforce their laws inside foreign borders while they are unwilling to do the same themselves.

China's name translates to "middle kingdom" and that is a view where they view themselves as the center of the world, surrounded by enemies (in their history.) In short today they still share those views and will not make any concession for anyone but demand the rest of the world to follow their ways and laws even outside their borders. Thank god the world as a whole always speaks against China.


RE: ?
By MrBlastman on 3/16/2010 2:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
Fortune cookie for Google in China reads not good:

"You will face hard and tumultuous times. Do not give up in your quest."

Unfortunately, I fear, they will just block Google via the Chinese firewall and that will be it. Hope for the Chinese will ebb away shortly after that.

To bad we can't hack the Chinese firewall without our own authorities trying to lock us up for some sort of crime. If our Government would grow a pair I am sure there are thousands of Americans that would be freely willing to help in this cause.


RE: ?
By Lerianis on 3/17/2010 6:10:28 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed..... our government should be trying to take down that Chinese firewall at all turns, but they won't.


RE: ?
By ianweck on 3/16/2010 3:52:28 PM , Rating: 3
F China.


RE: ?
By OBLAMA2009 on 3/17/2010 4:19:02 AM , Rating: 1
if they had any brains they would censor and stfu. as a stockholder id be really pissed if they left


China You Have A LONG Road Ahead
By mindless1 on 3/17/2010 5:04:55 AM , Rating: 2
This is the information age. CHina?!! No matter what you try to do your citizens will see what they are missing, I hate to think a country-wide rebellion is going to happen but don't think your citizens are stupid, they KNOW what you are depriving them of which is the free flow of information.

I know, some of that info is arguably a bad influence on a society, but a society must grow and stay modern and to do so in this age, censorship will only cripple a country and infuriate the citizens. It may not happen today, but it is an inevitable thing!




RE: China You Have A LONG Road Ahead
By porkpie on 3/17/2010 9:48:33 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize that China isn't the only country that censors its Internet, don't you? South Korea and Australia to name just two- South Korea is particularly bad about censoring bloggers who criticize the government.

Even in Germany, try putting something on the Internet the authorities feel glorifies Nazis in some way, or trivializes the Holocaust.


RE: China You Have A LONG Road Ahead
By mindless1 on 3/17/2010 10:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
But, this topic was about China. I don't think censorship will stand up in other areas either, with exception of some things universally held as wrong like child abuse or the Holocaust/hate-mongering.


RE: China You Have A LONG Road Ahead
By porkpie on 3/17/2010 11:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with hate speech is that, not only is it not "universally" held to be wrong, but there is no clear definition of it.

A scholar can publish a book claiming differences in behavior based on ethnicity, and it becomes a hate crime. A historical book on the Third Reich can run afoul of the law, simply for not stressing enough how evil Hitler was to everyone's satisfaction. A blogger can be jailed for criticizing government policies, under the grounds he's "inciting hatred" of groups benefiting from those policies.

All the above are actual examples which have happened.

Yes, this topic is about China. My point was to provide some much-needed social reference. Many nations censor the Internet. Is China's censoring of Falun Gong material any better or worse than Germany's censoring of Nazi material, simply because we like one group and not the other?


By ianweck on 3/19/2010 12:05:55 AM , Rating: 2
I think China censors a lot more than just Falun Gong though.


By mindless1 on 3/19/2010 9:16:08 AM , Rating: 2
False. Hate speech is not about the content, it is about a deliberate attempt to get a rise from the readers. The pattern is the same no matter what the locals define as offensive.


The Tighter...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/16/2010 12:36:56 PM , Rating: 3
The tighter you ball your fist, the more grains of sand escape it.

We're witnessing the eventual collapse of Communism in China. This is just another symptom.

Go Google !




RE: The Tighter...
By geddarkstorm on 3/16/2010 3:46:10 PM , Rating: 4
I thought it was "The more you tighten your grip...the more star systems will slip through your fingers". Huh.


Google.....
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/16/2010 11:49:01 AM , Rating: 2
Needs to tell China to piss off




By jbwhite99 on 3/22/2010 5:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
If Google pulls out of China, and you can't access Google from inside China anymore, what about accessing Google Docs or GMail inside China? Will Google still allow this?




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