China: Google breaks promise, totally wrong to stop censoring

Updated: 2010-03-23 07:30
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BEIJING - Google has "violated its written promise" and is "totally wrong" by stopping censoring its Chinese language searching results and blaming China for alleged hacker attacks, a government official said early Tuesday morning.

The official in charge of the Internet bureau under the State Council Information Office made the comments about two hours after the online search service provider announced it has stopped censoring its Chinese-language search engine and is redirecting Chinese mainland users to a site in Hong Kong.

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"Google has violated its written promise it made when entering the Chinese market by stopping filtering its searching service and blaming China in insinuation for alleged hacker attacks," said the official.

"This is totally wrong. We're uncompromisingly opposed to the politicization of commercial issues, and express our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conducts," the official said.

Google's chief legal officer David Drummond made the "stop censoring" announcement in a blog post at about 3 am Tuesday Beijing Time, more than two months after the company said it had been attacked by hackers supported by the Chinese government and was considering pulling out of the Chinese market.

The Information Office official said relevant departments of the Chinese government talked with Google twice at its requests, on January 29 and February 25 respectively, to hear the company's real intentions and demonstrate sincerity of the government.

"We made patient and meticulous explanations on the questions Google raised (in the talks), ...telling it we would still welcome its operation and development in China if it was willing to abide by Chinese laws, while it would be its own affair if it was determined to withdraw its service," the official said.

"Foreign companies must abide by Chinese laws and regulations when they operate in China, " the official added.