Google chief sees outcome 'soon' in China row

08:38, March 11, 2010      

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Internet search giant Google expects an outcome "soon" from its talks with Chinese regulators over Internet regulation and an alleged hacking dispute, the company's chief executive Eric Schmidt said Wednesday.

Google threatened in January to shut its operations in China, raising the eyebrows of many and causing the ire of Chinese Internet users for its arrogant attitude towards China's government.

"I'm going to use the word 'soon', which I will not define otherwise," Schmidt told journalists at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit."There is no specific timetable. Something will happen soon," he added, without elaborating, reported the Associated Press Wednesday.

Chinese regulators have said they were working with Google to resolve the dispute.

On Monday, Minister of Industry and Information Industry, Mr. Li Yizhong told reporters in Beijing that Google must abide by Chinese laws if it wants to stay and operate in China.

Google shocked business and political circles when it declared on January 12 it would stop censoring Chinese search results, and said it was considering pulling out of the country.

But, Chinese government regulators wants the search giant to shut out information that are pornographic and harmful to the youth, or politically subversive content, including promoting separation of Taiwan and Tibet from China.

Google alleged in January it had detected a cyber attack originating from China on its corporate infrastructure that resulted in the loss of its intellectual property. It even suspected the attack might stem from the government, an accusation Beijing denies.

Renewed Threatening to Leave China

In another related development, a top Google executive told US lawmakers Wednesday that the company is prepared to leave China if Beijing says it must regulate Web search results or quit the world's most populous online market.

"Google is firm in its decision that it will stop censoring our search results for China," Google vice president and deputy general counsel Nicole Wong told the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

"If the option is that we'll shutter our .cn operation and leave the country, we are prepared to do that," she said.

Wong said the company was mindful that it has "hundreds of employees on the ground" and understands "the seriousness or the sensitivity" of its decision but "we will stop censoring" search results in China.

Chinese Web users are now increasingly annoyed by Google's attitude of threatening to close down its operations in the country. Some have claimed that they could go along without the presence of Google in China.

People's Daily Online
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