Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Google Accused in China of "Meddling" in Egypt

David Bandurski for the China Media Project comments on a recent article about Google circulating in China in his piece "Opium Wars and the perfidy of Google":
"As “web user” Zheng Yan (郑岩) wrote in an article posted Friday on People’s Daily Online, a website operated by the CCP’s official People’s Daily, “[Google] is not just a search engine tool — it is a tool to extend American hegemony.” The Mountain View, CA, based company is, says Zheng, “America’s British East India Company.”
The article was cross-posted on more than 300 websites in China, including Xinhua Online,, China Youth Daily Online and
And since this is a story about good guys and bad guys, you should know that Chinese search engine provider Baidu is a national hero that “strongly blocked” Google in China."
Bandurski's piece also provides an English version of the the article by Zheng Yan that is worth reading.  It makes numerous claims including:
"The facts have shown that Google is not purely a company, that it seeks not only to make the money of other nations, but also meddles in the political affairs of other countries. It is not just a search engine tool — it is a tool to extend American hegemony"
This claim is key for those who wish to "block" Google in China.  It is to the advantage of Google's detractors, whether competitors or other "forces", for Chinese people to believe that Google is not a potential vehicle for what they may want but for what the US Government wants.  Many Chinese already believe that if the US & Chinese Governments disagree on something, what the US wants must be detrimental to China.  So, any association of Google's interests with the US Government's is viewed poorly.

As I wrote earlier, some of Google's supporters in China had a change of heart after Hillary Clinton gave a speech last year that specifically referenced Google's situation in China.  The speech provided an opportunity to associate Google with the US Government.  Zheng Yan's article is yet another attempt to fuel the perception that Google is "political".  Ironically and brilliantly, it may cause many in China to not only further dismiss the power that could be provided to them with services such as Google's, but to also not see that they have many goals in common with the people in places such as Egypt.

[Added note:  Post about Google's reply]

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