China To Google: F-U Too!

China has responded to Google’s threat to exit China due to some Gmail accounts that are tied to human rights activists being hacked. China responded in a manner that you’d expect. Here’s what they said via foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu:

“China’s Internet is open,” Ms. Jiang said. “China welcomes international Internet enterprises to conduct business in China according to law.”

Good luck with that. Here’s why I say that. If Google sticks to their guns and wins, Internet access in China will be more open than it is now. If Google loses and bolts from China, Google still wins because they would have stood up to the Chinese and their “Great Firewall Of China,” not to mention living up to their corporate motto of “don’t be evil.” So assuming that China actually cares about its image, then it’s they who are on the wrong end of this fight.

You’ll also notice that in the story that I linked to, the US government is monitoring the situation:

Mr. [Robert] Gibbs [White House spokesman] said the White House is awaiting China’s response to Google’s announcement. Asked whether the incident could cause a U.S.-China chill, Mr. Gibbs said: “We stood in China when we gave the answer about a free Internet. So, the president and this administration have beliefs about the freedom of the Internet.”

Bottom line: The stakes are high. Really high. Stay tuned for what happens next.

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