China has finally broken its silence regarding Google’s threats to leave the country. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu has indirectly responded to the search giant’s warning that they will stop censoring results in China, and may close down its Google.cn site altogether. Google is blaming recent security attacks as the main culprit for their decision.
Speaking in Beijing at a ministry meeting, Jiang claimed China believes in an “Open Internet” and that the country welcomes international Internet enterprises to conduct business in China according to the law.
While not mentioning Google by name, its clear this has been a huge story all over the world. There has been no indication so far as to whether the Chinese government has been in talks with Google as of yet, but the search engine is keen to speak with Beijing’s authorities in coming weeks. The company hopes to look at operating an unfiltered search engine within the law in the country, though no changes to filtering have yet been made.
China does encourage the use of online services in both education and business. However, current law means a national firewall will filter all web content. It remains to be seen if Google alone can change how business is done in China, but if one company is big enough to do it, my money is on them.