Google Inc. urged the European Union and U.S. governments to pressurize China on Internet restrictions. Censorship violates the principles of human rights and is also a means to impose disadvantages on multinational companies in the markets, David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer of Google told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday.
Google recently had to shunt its Chinese site to Hong Kong to avoid the country’s strict censorship rules. The Chinese government decried the move, which also took a toll on the Mountain View company’s share in the Chinese Internet market. Google threatened to discontinue China operation after it was subject of cyber attacks from the country in January. Google alleges the attacks were an attempt to gain access to personal data of human rights activists, who used its e-mail service, Gmail.
Beijing closely monitors and censors sensitive content on Internet, particularly materials relating to politics and ethnic unrest. Earlier this week, Chinese government announced the list of topics, which would be subject to censorship. The 31-page white paper prohibits materials which hurts ‘state honor and interests’, ‘subverts state power’, are ‘against the cardinal principles set forth in the constitution’, fans ethnic hatred or promotes ‘superstitious ideas’.
Google is the world’s most used search engine on Internet and China has the world’s largest number of Internet users. The company’s search share in China’s has dropped to 30.9 percent in the first quarter from 35.6 percent three months ago, according to an Analysys International report. Its competitor, Baidu Inc.’s share rose from 58.4 percent to 64 percent in the corresponding period.