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Chinese citizens laid flowers on the Google logo at the company's headquarters in support of the company's decision to stand up to the Chinese government's censorship  (Source: Vincent Thian/Associated Press)

In response to Google's decision to uncensor its search, the Chinese government is accusing Google of espionage and attempting to kick Google's Android OS out of China's phone market.  (Source:
Google President Brin urges President Obama respond to Chinese action and statements

According to the Chinese government, the U.S. is committing a campaign of cyberwarfare against it (its claims echo those voiced by top U.S. armed forces officials, who conversely claim China is carrying out a cyberwarfare effort against the U.S.).  

People’s Daily, the main newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, on Wednesday unleashed serious accusations against Google. In a front-page piece it claims that Google, the second largest search engine in China, and one of the largest companies in the U.S., is colluding with U.S. espionage efforts.

Writes the paper:

For Chinese people, Google is not god, and even if it puts on a full-on show about politics and values, it is still not god.  In fact, Google is not a virgin when it comes to values. Its cooperation and collusion with the U.S. intelligence and security agencies is well-known...All this makes one wonder. Thinking about the United States’ big efforts in recent years to engage in Internet war, perhaps this could be an exploratory pre-dawn battle.

The editorial follows Google's Monday decision to stand up to the Chinese government.  Fed up with cybercrime in China and the country's policy of censoring internet access to a variety of materials, Google defied Chinese regulators by uncensoring its search results in China.  It redirected Chinese visitors from to its uncensored Hong Kong search site.  The Hong Kong site uses the same simplified Chinese characters that the mainland uses and thus is readable to those in mainland China.

As of Tuesday the site was still not blocked, but most observers believe that the Chinese government will move to block or  Some are astounded at the move by Google.  Former U.S. ambassador to China J. Stapleton Roy, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, states, "I don’t understand their calculation.  I do not see how Google could have concluded that they could have faced down the Chinese on a domestic censorship issue."

Google could pay deeply for the move.  China is home to over 155 million smart phone users and that number is growing rapidly.  Contrary to its previous statements, the Chinese government is now moving to ban Google's Android handsets from China.  It is reportedly pressuring telecoms like China Unicom to delay or scrap smart phone offerings that use Google's Android OS.  This could prove a boon to Research in Motion and Apple, the latter of which has seen poor sales of its iPhone in China.

The Chinese government is also pushing telecoms to terminate their search deals with Google, which could boost Microsoft.  Google is expected to lose its 31.3 percent search stake in China's internet market of over 350 million users -- more users than the entire population of the U.S.

The accusations of espionage could also result in charges against Google's 600 China employees.  Google is fearful of this and was careful to say that none of its Chinese employees were involved in the decision to uncensor the search.  Chinese courts might not accept that claim, though.

Google co-founder and president Sergey Brin knows a little about what its like to grow up in an oppressive communist regime.  Brin was born in 1973 in Soviet Russia, but later attended college at Stanford University -- where he met fellow Google co-founder Larry Page.

Brin says that the Obama administration should take action against China rather than avoid the issue.  He stated in an interview with the UK newspaper 
Guardian, "I certainly hope they make it a high priority.  Human rights issues deserve equal time to the trade issues that are high priority now … I hope this gets taken seriously.  Since services and information are our most successful exports, if regulations in China effectively prevent us from being competitive, then they are a trade barrier.

And Brin had some stinging criticism of U.S. rival Microsoft, who has vowed to continue censoring its Chinese search, in cooperation with the government of China.  Says Brin, "I'm very disappointed for them in particular. As I understand, they have effectively no market share – so they essentially spoke against freedom of speech and human rights simply in order to contradict Google."

In China many people are celebrating Google's decision to stand up against censorship.  The logo in front of Google's headquarters was covered in flowers left by supporters.    That support, though, may only serve to further anger Chinese regulators.

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RE: Respond to what ??
By chruschef on 3/24/2010 12:00:21 PM , Rating: 4
Obama was going to make the rest of the world LOVE America, wasn't he ? I think all this Google vs China crap is more right wing GOP slander. There is no way China would behave this way with Savior Obama at the wheel.

Wait what? That's pretty illogical, Democrats and Republicans can agree that the censorship in China is unjust. The only issue between the two parties beyond that, is exactly what to do about it. It's like walking on ice, if Obama did take a hard line against the actions of the Chinese censorship and cyber-warfare what would happen to our trade relations? (America relies heavily on China for an astounding portion of its goods, remember almost everything says "Made in China".) I would assert the safest route for now, is to deny any cyber-warfare (which is what we all know they'll do, it's pretty cold war-esque.) and allow the Chinese people to continue protesting their own government. China is the most protested government in the world, and because of the business sectors some citizens of China have been gaining some liberties, capitalist opportunities and personal success, slowly albeit. These factors, I think, will only drive them to desire more, as America's founding fathers did, and the people of China will take to the streets for them in even larger numbers than now. At that point, we must hope that the Obamas of this world will notice and take action. Until then it's probably best we don't get to involved and end up with an Iraq like situation, fighting someone else's war won't end well. (By that I mean, we remove a government from power and "force" democracy on another country by military power. Democracy in a country has to be earned by a people, as we did, or it will never be appreciated and/or effective. As is the case in Iraq, or at least I think so.)

RE: Respond to what ??
By Reclaimer77 on 3/24/2010 12:12:51 PM , Rating: 2
dude it was sarcasm..sigh

RE: Respond to what ??
By chruschef on 3/24/2010 12:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
LOL. *palm to face*

my bad, regardless I was just looking for an excuse to write my opinion in response to someone else's. :)

RE: Respond to what ??
By vkelman on 3/24/2010 12:39:54 PM , Rating: 2
Your opinion is well stated. Good point.

RE: Respond to what ??
By Reclaimer77 on 3/24/2010 12:48:45 PM , Rating: 1
Yes he made his case well. Except I have one nitpick. England had to traverse months long oceanic trips to reinforce and combat the uprising in America. It would be far different for the Chinese people to try and revolt against the government with China's full military might on everyone's doorstep.

RE: Respond to what ??
By clovell on 3/24/2010 1:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
America needs to start taking action and sanctioning China for this kind of BS. We've lost jobs, companies, and segments of industry to China with our free trade policies. China responds with BS like this, punitive tariffs, unsafe products, workers' rights atrocities, and the like.

The Chinese economy is burgeoning enough to come into its own. Now it's time America starts treating it like an adult rather than a kid, and endorses a more quid-por-quo trade policy that punishes their tariffs and unfair trade practices with similar tariffs on our end - see how they like the heat.

RE: Respond to what ??
By Performance Fanboi on 3/24/2010 2:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
America needs to start taking action and sanctioning China

Unfortunately that would be like suing your landlord.

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