AfterDawn: Tech news

China responds to Google's threat

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 14 Jan 2010 14:18 User comments (28)

China responds to Google's threat Earlier this week, Google threatened to pull its service from China if the company and the government could not come to an agreement over the censoring of content. Chinese officials have fired back today, claiming the Internet is a free place in China, but that companies must obey the law.
"China's Internet is open," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu. "China welcomes international Internet enterprises to conduct business in China according to law."

The Chinese Information Office added: "Our country is at a crucial stage of reform and development, and this is a period of marked social conflicts. Properly guiding Internet opinion is a major measure for protecting Internet information security."

Official Wang Chen also adds: "Companies have to concretely increase the ability of Internet media to guide public opinion in order to uphold Internet safety."

Google's threat was made public on Tuesday when it was discovered that Chinese hackers had breached Google's network, stealing "intellectual property" and attempting to steal Gmail accounts of human rights activists involved in Chinese issues. Google was just one of 35 companies attacked, but was certainly one of the largest. If the government will not agree to providing uncensored search results that will not violate Chinese law, then Google is prepared to completely pull its service from China.

The hackers did not get away with much, however, only seeing the subject lines of a few emails, and the account creation date of two accounts.

Besides human rights activists, lawyers of an American firm were also targeted. Gipson Hoffman & Pancione are representing a plaintiff suing the Chinese government for alleged stealing of software that is now used in the Chinese "Great Firewall," but was banned from sale. The plaintiff is asking for $2.2 billion.

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28 user comments

114.1.2010 14:34

Uphold internet safety? About the only safety it sounds like China is trying to uphold is its own strong-arm tactics. And what is this about the internet being a free place, but trying to enforce laws that govern it? And what opinion are they trying to guide on the internet?

This smells worse than rotting fish left on a dock for three days in 110 degree weather. I am glad I am not living in China right now.

214.1.2010 15:04
scum101
Inactive

chinas internet is open? .. pull the other one!


314.1.2010 15:45

#1 search engine in China is Baidu, Google is second mainly use by foreigners who resided there. Now the only threat I know is stock holders telling Google to shut up.

414.1.2010 15:53

I don't see how Google restricting access to Chinese web users is gonna hinder the Chinese govt. All the Chinese want to do is control the content and maintain censorship over search results. With Google out of the picture, that should be easier.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Jan 2010 @ 15:54

514.1.2010 16:14

Quote:
I don't see how Google restricting access to Chinese web users is gonna hinder the Chinese govt.
Google isn't trying to "hinder" the Chinese government. (That's Obama's job! Ha! Ha!)

The question is if Google should be helping, or cooperating with the government.

I think the Google executives decided previously that they were doing "more good than harm", by getting into China. Maybe they are re-thinking that decision. (I suspect they will stay for either moral and/or business reasons.)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Jan 2010 @ 16:17

614.1.2010 18:06

Quote:
Quote:
I don't see how Google restricting access to Chinese web users is gonna hinder the Chinese govt.
Google isn't trying to "hinder" the Chinese government. (That's Obama's job! Ha! Ha!)

The question is if Google should be helping, or cooperating with the government.

I think the Google executives decided previously that they were doing "more good than harm", by getting into China. Maybe they are re-thinking that decision. (I suspect they will stay for either moral and/or business reasons.)

Hinder-maybe not the right choice of words.You can only "threaten" someone if they have something to lose... I just don't see what the Chines government would have to lose by not having Google available for the web users...It would only make their life easier, helping with the censorship...

714.1.2010 18:09
scum101
Inactive

next time you want computer bits look long and hard.. WE are propping up this nasty human rights violation of a country with our nice western money... stop buying their cheap stuff and they will be forced to change their ways.


814.1.2010 18:50

Quote:
Hinder-maybe not the right choice of words.You can only "threaten" someone if they have something to lose... I just don't see what the Chines government would have to lose by not having Google available for the web users...It would only make their life easier, helping with the censorship...
While I do agree the Chinese government really has "nothing to lose" here there are plenty of companies, domestic and abroad that will be hurt by not having some of the 800 million Chinese Internet users seeing/clicking their ads. Of course, there is also Baidu, which controls 60 percent of the market to Google's 30 percent, and they will likely move their advertising there, but giving Baidu the monopoly also means they get to control the prices, which will certainly hurt the companies.

914.1.2010 18:58

Quote:
Quote:
Hinder-maybe not the right choice of words.You can only "threaten" someone if they have something to lose... I just don't see what the Chines government would have to lose by not having Google available for the web users...It would only make their life easier, helping with the censorship...
While I do agree the Chinese government really has "nothing to lose" here there are plenty of companies, domestic and abroad that will be hurt by not having some of the 800 million Chinese Internet users seeing/clicking their ads. Of course, there is also Baidu, which controls 60 percent of the market to Google's 30 percent, and they will likely move their advertising there, but giving Baidu the monopoly also means they get to control the prices, which will certainly hurt the companies.
Yes, I looked at the problem from that angle...Some companies would suffer, but does the Chinese Govt. care about it? If the Chinese Govt. has nothing to lose(actually they might have to gain, since Baidu would have much more business), then how is whatever Google said they're going to do a threat for the govt.?

1014.1.2010 19:51

It's totally open except where law says it can't be??? And "Properly guiding Internet opinion???" The Chinese govt's PR dept. sounds like a fun place to work to make up this kinda nonsense and expect people to accept it w/o question,

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Jan 2010 @ 19:52

1114.1.2010 22:10

So McAfee has isolated the malicious software used to attack Google and the other companies. Apparently it uses an unknown vulnerability in Internet Explorer.

What they heck are Google employees doing using IE and not Chrome?

1215.1.2010 2:06

Originally posted by klassic:
What they heck are Google employees doing using IE and not Chrome?
If you ever tried Chrome, you would already know the answer to that...even IE8 is better.

The chinese have very clear laws against hacking, with extremely stiff punishments. However, when the government does it (and gets caught) they say that they are hacking to prevent laws from being broken...

It takes a lot to make the USA government look good...but then China is a big country.

1315.1.2010 10:36

Quote:
If you ever tried Chrome, you would already know the answer to that...even IE8 is better.
That's a pretty bold statement.

1415.1.2010 11:28

I like it when geeks try to think business.

The Chinese Government has a LOT to lose. Basically, they hacked Google so any other company (in China) is fair game. They are using very educated hackers (govt) to try to STEAL SOURCE CODE so that they can identify and exploit holes.

So as a Western businessman this is just another in a log string of incidents that basically demonstrate the extent to which the Chinese government will go to interfere with non-Chinese companies.

Yes, China has a whole lot of people, and that is always the lure to Western Businesses, but if the Chinese Gov't knee-caps you in the market then it is clear that YOU WILL NOT make money in China and it is someplace to avoid.

1515.1.2010 12:21

GOSH!! Why the hell they had to choose Google?

1615.1.2010 12:54

Quote:
Quote:
If you ever tried Chrome, you would already know the answer to that...even IE8 is better.
That's a pretty bold statement.
Sounds pretty accurate to me. LOL

1715.1.2010 13:44

Originally posted by willr666:
I like it when geeks try to think business.

The Chinese Government has a LOT to lose. ...
Why don't you explain to "the geeks" exactly what does the Chinese Govt. has to lose? Please enlighten me how all the western businesses in China will cease to operate when Google pulls out...Is McDonalds or Coca Cola gonna pack it all up and out, right? You make it sound like everything "westerny" in China is based on Google...
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Jan 2010 @ 13:48

1815.1.2010 16:06

Quote:

Hinder-maybe not the right choice of words.You can only "threaten" someone if they have something to lose... I just don't see what the Chines government would have to lose by not having Google available for the web users...It would only make their life easier, helping with the censorship...
The Chinese are as big on saving face as the US.

1915.1.2010 16:06

China begins monitoring billions of text messages as censorship increases

Quote:
Customers of China’s two largest mobile phone networks, China Mobile and China Unicom, have had their text-messaging service blocked after sending risqué texts, according to the state media.

The Southern Metropolis newspaper said a man from the Southern city of Dongguan recently had his phone blocked. China Mobile’s customer service informed the man that their computers had detected lewd words in his messages and that he would have to take his identity card to the local police station to reactivate the phone. He also had to furnish a letter guaranteeing that he would no longer disseminate inappropriate messages.




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2015.1.2010 18:04

Quote:
and this is a period of marked social conflicts. Properly guiding Internet opinion is a major measure for protecting Internet information security."
Another way of saying "controlling what our people read & hear so we can control their actions"

Quote:
"Companies have to concretely increase the ability of Internet media to guide public opinion in order to uphold Internet safety."
And that one reads..."Tech companies like Google have to work with us to enforce control of public opinion in our country, if they wish to do business here"

Control the people by controlling what they think and read, how in the world do they expect that to last forever? But in China, most parts of the Middle East, and (to a lesser extent now), Russia, this is how governments operate. Even our Wetern governments do this to an extent, but nothing like it is for these unfortunate people. Thankfully the younger more educated generations are applying pressure to these antiquated ideologies, and they should crack under this pressure someday. You simply CANNOT control what a person thinks!!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Jan 2010 @ 18:05

2115.1.2010 19:30

It is interesting that Google doesn't want China filtering it's search engine. Google does the same thing in blocking and filtering websites and content here at home. Kinda the same thing except now it is Google being filtered.

2216.1.2010 0:59

Originally posted by ChappyTTV:
Control the people by controlling what they think and read, how in the world do they expect that to last forever? But in China, most parts of the Middle East, and (to a lesser extent now), Russia, this is how governments operate. Even our Wetern governments do this to an extent, but nothing like it is for these unfortunate people. Thankfully the younger more educated generations are applying pressure to these antiquated ideologies, and they should crack under this pressure someday. You simply CANNOT control what a person thinks!!
You just spotted the problem with facism...by limiting what your people know, you limit the ability to compete with free markets. This is why germany started the war with the best airplanes, end ended the war with the worst airplanes. The fact is, the leaders don't give a **** about the country. If it falls, they just take their billions of dollars and move the somewhere where the temperature is high and the women don't wear enough clothes. In the mein time, they will continue to steal money...and closed doors help with this.


2316.1.2010 21:50

Quote:
"China's Internet is open," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu. "China welcomes international Internet enterprises to conduct business in China according to law."
I'm totally agreeing with Google and free internet etc and that the govt should take it easy on freedom of speech however on the other handle Google needs to obey the law of the land pure and simple.

2416.1.2010 23:07

Quote:
Quote:
"China's Internet is open," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu. "China welcomes international Internet enterprises to conduct business in China according to law."
I'm totally agreeing with Google and free internet etc and that the govt should take it easy on freedom of speech however on the other handle Google needs to obey the law of the land pure and simple.
And that's exactly why Google is threatening to pull out, they don't feel comfortable helping the Chinese Gov. supress their citizens basic human rights. They don't Have to do business with China, but they're trying to use their considerable pull & muscle in this area, to help relax some of the restrictions on the Chinese people. Laws can be changed and attitudes relaxed, so more power to Google if they succeed in even the smallest way to help in that.

2518.1.2010 5:09
prabax
Inactive

I do not see this being negotiated in a manner where Google continues to do business with China.


2620.1.2010 4:07

Originally posted by prabax:
I do not see this being negotiated in a manner where Google continues to do business with China.
Google has bent over backwards to make the Chinese government happy in the past...they will bend again.

2720.1.2010 10:12

Quote:
Originally posted by willr666:
I like it when geeks try to think business.

The Chinese Government has a LOT to lose. ...
Why don't you explain to "the geeks" exactly what does the Chinese Govt. has to lose? Please enlighten me how all the western businesses in China will cease to operate when Google pulls out...Is McDonalds or Coca Cola gonna pack it all up and out, right? You make it sound like everything "westerny" in China is based on Google...
Ok,here goes. To the West, China has always looked like an untapped piggybank. "Just think of all the money we could make in China" has been the mantra of Western businesses for the past 30 years (since Nixon opened-up China). Unfortunately, the Chinese government, time and time again, has used their 'state powers' to make it impossible for Western companies to be competitive in the Chinese market. In fact, the joke in international business circles is "everyone goes to China, but no one makes any money".
Ok, so the Chinese aren't too receptive to Western businesses moving into their market. Now, it seems, they will use the government not only to 'cripple' Western businesses, but try to hack into their core computer systems (they breached over 25 companies). This is an escalation of China (again) showing that they are capable of high-profile industrial sabotage.

Also, read up about Coke/Pepsi in India - you'll learn a thing or two.

2820.1.2010 10:19

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by willr666:
I like it when geeks try to think business.

The Chinese Government has a LOT to lose. ...
Why don't you explain to "the geeks" exactly what does the Chinese Govt. has to lose? Please enlighten me how all the western businesses in China will cease to operate when Google pulls out...Is McDonalds or Coca Cola gonna pack it all up and out, right? You make it sound like everything "westerny" in China is based on Google...
Ok,here goes. To the West, China has always looked like an untapped piggybank. "Just think of all the money we could make in China" has been the mantra of Western businesses for the past 30 years (since Nixon opened-up China). Unfortunately, the Chinese government, time and time again, has used their 'state powers' to make it impossible for Western companies to be competitive in the Chinese market. In fact, the joke in international business circles is "everyone goes to China, but no one makes any money".
Ok, so the Chinese aren't too receptive to Western businesses moving into their market. Now, it seems, they will use the government not only to 'cripple' Western businesses, but try to hack into their core computer systems (they breached over 25 companies). This is an escalation of China (again) showing that they are capable of high-profile industrial sabotage.

Also, read up about Coke/Pepsi in India - you'll learn a thing or two.
I am sorry, I am still missing the part where the Chinese govt. is at a loss...

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