Google vs China : The battle continues ….Posted: January 14, 2010
On Tuesday I wrote on my blog about how Google were about to go to war with the Chinese government in an attempt to un censor their service there after an attack on their servers, probably by the Chinese government themselves.
I’m almost reading between the lines on this and thinking that Google are simply coming right out and saying to the Government, look we know it was you – enough is enough.
It will be interesting to see if the Government of China back down on their non progressive laws or if Google will indeed pull operations from the biggest country in the world but one thing is certain, this will be one of the largest online battles the world has ever seen and it is about time someone took on China – the rest of the world sure aint going to do anything about them.
Since then the battle has heated up somewhat and it has became more apparent that either this was an attack by China themselves or a state-sponsored attack. To make things even more complicated, The US Government are getting involved which is never good.
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said: “We have been briefed by Google on these allegations, which raise very serious concerns and questions. We look to the Chinese government for an explanation. The ability to operate with confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and economy.”
Today China have responded.
China this morning issued a statement saying it resolutely opposed hacking and was itself a victim of cyber attacks, in its first response to Google’s hacking claims. In a statement posted on the state council information office website, cabinet spokesman Wang Chen reminded companies of their need to abide by internet controls, citing their “social responsibilities”.
Google is understood to want to try to work with Beijing, according to the senior company source, who added it was “hopeful that they can accept that this is a new century, it’s a new time. I don’t think it’s the Chinese government as a whole … but I think there are some left over elements of totalitarianism in China, be it in government or be it in hackers or what not. But those elements – it’s time for them to go. It’s time the Chinese people had unfettered access to information.”
When it launched google.cn in 2006, the company said it believed the benefits of increased access to information for people in China outweighed the negative impact of self-censorship. But it was widely criticised for the decision. Google has around a third of the Chinese search market, lagging far behind the domestic firm Baidu. Kaiser Kuo, a Beijing-based expert on the internet, said: “There are two schools of thought on this. One says that this is a mere smokescreen of sanctimony meant to hide a retreat from a market Google was unable to conquer for business reasons … The other is that this is a true act of moral bravery.”
So the battle has heated up somewhat and is now at a delicate stand off. I can’t see the Chinese Government backing down, US Government intervention would be not only unjust but stupid and it remains to be seen if google will indeed stay true to their word and what that will do to both their stock value and the future of the Internet in China.