News / Asia

Google Responds to Hong Kong Political Ad Blocking

— Google says it has reached a compromise with the Hong Kong Alliance for True Democracy over a political ad being blocked from the tech giant's YouTube platform.

In a statement Thursday, the U.S.-based company said the group could run its ad as long as it removed mainland China as a target for distribution. The statement added that Google attached extreme importance to the right of political expression.

An employee for a Hong Kong firm that handles public relations for Google told VOA Thursday that the issue has been resolved and the group's ad would be posted on YouTube in the coming days.

Daniel Huang, the project manager at Alliance for True Democracy, said the Alliance has agreed to change its targeting even through it believed YouTube made the wrong choice.

”Because we hope we will have the biggest and best effect of publicity in Hong Kong, we will remove mainland China out of this list at this time. However, we believe YouTube has no good reason to prohibit us from putting this advertising in mainland China,” he said.

The Alliance, which is campaigning for greater democracy in Hong Kong, is trying to encourage Hong Kong citizens to take part in an unofficial referendum on the expansion of voting rights in the former British territory.

(This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.)

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