News / Asia

Google Seeks Compromise with China

A man walks past the Google company logo outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing (file)
A man walks past the Google company logo outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing (file)
Jan Sluizer

The Internet search firm Google says it has come up with a compromise as it seeks to renew its Internet content provider license in China.  The company has tried to offer an uncensored search site to Chinese users, while the Beijing government has demanded censorship.  

When Google launched in China in 2006, the Chinese government objected to some of the material available through the company's website, specifically its unfettered access to news and photos.  So Google self-censored its site, drawing objections from free speech and human rights advocates.

For the past three months, the Google website in China has offered a blank page that automatically redirects Internet users to an uncensored Google site in Hong Kong.  Although Chinese Internet users can access the site, the Chinese government's Great Firewall system blocks what the authorities do not want people to see.

Journalism professor Andrew Lih at the University of Southern California says at least Google can say they are no longer party to the censorship.

"They basically said, 'We're not going to censor ourselves.  If there's any censorship that is going to happen, it's going to be by the Great Firewall, which is out of our hands,'" he said.

But the Chinese government objected to Google's solution.

The company feared that its license renewal application would be denied, which would force Google to close its lucrative operation in China.  So the company has offered a compromise.  

Instead of automatically redirecting users to its Hong Kong site, Google's home page in China will offer non-controversial material such as entertainment, consumer information and translations.  The homepage will have a link to Google's Hong Kong site, aspects of which the Chinese government can block.

Steven Levy, a senior writer with Wired magazine, says that if Beijing does not accept Google's compromise and forces the company out of the country, it will not be good for China.

"It sends a very bad signal to American companies, really companies all over the West, that it's difficult to do business there.  Maybe they shouldn't.  And then their innovations don't become available to Chinese people and the Chinese companies," he said.

Google's license renewal application is due on Wednesday.   

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid