1/25/2006

Google: China decision painful but right

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 9:44 pm

Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin said his company’s decision to self-censor its Chinese search system followed a change of heart over how best to foster the free flow of information.

Google said on Tuesday it will block politically sensitive terms on its new China search site and not offer e-mail, chat and blog publishing services, which authorities fear can become flashpoints for social or political protest. Those actions go further than many of its biggest rivals in China.

“I didn’t think I would come to this conclusion — but eventually I came to the conclusion that more information is better, even if it is not as full as we would like to see,” Brin told Reuters in an interview in Switzerland.

Google, whose high-minded corporate motto is “Don’t be evil,” had previously refused to comply with Internet censorship demands by Chinese authorities, rules that must be met in order to locate business operations inside China — the world’s No. 2 Internet market.

“I know a lot of people are upset by our decision but it is something we have deliberated for a number of years,” Brin said from the sidelines of the World Economic Forum conference.

At least for now, Google will offer just four of its core services in China — Web site and image search, Google News and local search.

The voluntary concessions laid out on Tuesday by Google parallel some of the self-censorship already practiced there by global rivals such as Yahoo and Microsoft, as well as domestic sites.

Source: Reuters

 

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