Posted March 16, 2010 3:07 pm by with 0 comments

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Maybe I missed the point of the whole China/Google kerfluffle, but I could have sworn the reason Google was pulling out of China was because they didn’t want to obey China’s rules on censorship anymore. Apparently China has decided to conveniently ignore that fact as they remind Google to continue to obey China’s Internet rules, even if Google does decide to leave the country.


According to Reuters:

“On entering the Chinese market in 2007, it clearly stated that it would respect Chinese law,” the spokesman, Yao Jian, told reporters in answer to a question about Google.

Google opened its Chinese search portal in 2006.

“We hope that whether Google Inc continues operating in China or makes other choices, it will respect Chinese legal regulations,” Yao told a regular news conference.

“Even if it pulls out, it should handle things according to the rules and appropriately handle remaining issues,” he said.

Yes, of course Google should continue to obey the law for remaining “issues” within the country (possibly its other services, if Google decides to only pull its search engine). However, although I’m not in favor of China’s censorship, I don’t think Google should wage a direct Internet war against the country.

China’s admonition seems a little like a parent expecting a child to keep the same curfew when they leave the house. Google is leaving precisely because they just can’t abide those rules anymore. They’re going to live their life the way they want to now.

Or, for another analogy that might hit home a bit more with the Chinese government, maybe this is more akin to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telling China to investigate the hack attacks (to which China said Clinton damaged the countries’ relations, and basically she should mind her own business).

What do you think? Could China seriously expect to dictate to a company even if they won’t have any jurisdiction to do so?