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Chinese media hits out at Google, alleges intelligence links

March 20, 2010

Chinese media unleashed a torrent of criticism against Google on Saturday after reports it would leave the country, with state news agency Xinhua alleging the company was linked to US intelligence.

The comments were the latest in a series of angry exchanges sparked by the row over the Internet giant's complaints of cyber hacking and censorship in the country.

Xinhua said in an editorial: "Some Chinese Internet users who prefer to use Google still don't realise perhaps that due to the links between Google and the American intelligence services, search histories on Google will be kept and used by the American intelligence agencies."

Google's main spokeswoman in Beijing declined to comment on the claim.

The English-language China Daily declared "Google in wrong game" as it took issue with the company's stance, saying: "The Chinese are enjoying unprecedented freedom in the country's more than 5,000 years of history.

"If the vested interests' accusation that the Chinese government censors the Internet to spy on its own people does not originate from ignorance, then (it) is a white lie and a malicious attack.

"It will not do any good to Google either. And by linking its exit from China with political issues, Google will certainly lose its credibility in a country that has the largest number of netizens," China Daily said.

On its Internet site, China Radio International accused Google of encroaching on the country's sovereignty.

"There has only been one such case in over 100 years of colonialism and semi-colonialism: that of the British East India Company, which wanted to control India's sovereignty," the station said.

"Perhaps if Google withdraws from the Chinese market it will have negative consequences for certain Internet users but it will be Google that loses the most."

On Friday the China Business News quoted an official with an unidentified advertising agency linked to Google as saying the US firm would carry out its threatened withdrawal on April 10. Google declined to comment on the report.

The issue has sparked a war of words between China and the administration of President Barack Obama, which has called on Beijing to allow an unfettered Internet.


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