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Beijing defends Web rules following Google's threat to quit country

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-01-14

After US Internet giant Google threatened to quit China earlier this week, Beijing showed no sign of giving ground on censorship, telling foreign companies to cooperate with state control of the Internet.

AFP - China said Thursday that foreign Internet firms were welcome to do business in the Asian nation "according to law", after Google said it might leave the country over cyberattacks and censorship.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, offering Beijing's first official response to the Google row, also emphasised that the communist government was against "any form of cyberattack such as hacking".

"China like other countries administers the Internet according to law," Jiang told reporters.

"I'd also like to stress that China welcomes international Internet enterprises to conduct business in China according to law."

She said the Internet was "open" in China, adding: "The Chinese government encourages its development, and it also makes efforts to create a favourable environment for that."

Google vowed Tuesday to stop bowing to Chinese Internet censors and risk banishment from the lucrative market, in protest against "highly sophisticated" cyberattacks aimed at Chinese human rights activists.

The authorities in the world's most populous nation regularly block content and websites they deem politically objectionable.

The US government has stepped into the fray, with the White House backing the "right to a free Internet" and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking for an explanation from Beijing.

When asked about Clinton's statements, Jiang said: "We have expanded on our position to the US side."

 

Date created : 2010-01-14

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