Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
China 29 November 2004

Google urged to react after Chinese authorities block Google News

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the action of the Chinese authorities in blocking access to Google’s news website, Google News, for the past ten days or so, starting a few weeks after the launch of an expurgated Chinese-language version of Google News.

The press freedom organisation also urged the US company to react by stopping the filtering of its Chinese-language site and opening it to the news banned by Beijing.

"China is censoring Google News to force Internet users to use the Chinese version of the site which has been purged of the most critical news reports," Reporters Without Borders said. "By agreeing to launch a news service that excludes publications disliked by the government, Google has let itself be used by Beijing."

"The US company is therefore partly to blame, but it still has a chance to ally itself with those who defend press freedom," the organisation said, adding that it has sent its request to Google’s head of corporate ethics, Andrew McLaughlin.

Google News (www.news.google.com) compiles content published by some 4,500 news providers and it is one of the 20 most visited news sites in the world (source: Nielsen/NetRatings).

Launched in September, the Chinese version has been the subject of considerable controversy. So that it would not be blocked, Google agreed not to list news published by such sites as the pro-Falungong Epoch Times (www.epochtimes.com) and Voice of America (www.voanews.com). Defending their action, Google News executives such as McLaughlin cited the need to guarantee quality of service for their users and said there was no point posting links to sites blocked by the Chinese filters.

Reporters Without Borders has often condemned the ethical shortcomings of US Internet-sector companies operating in China, especially Yahoo! and Cisco Systems. It has for several months also been urging the socially responsible investment fund ISR to pressure these companies to modify their business practices.

For more information about Reporters Without Borders’s initiatives in this area, go to :

Google - Yahoo market battle

Reporters Without Border challenges 14 major Internet and computer firms about their activity in China




In this country
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
All references to Tiananmen Square massacre closely censored for 20 years
12 May - China
Foreign reporters prevented from working in Sichuan a year after earthquake
24 April - China
Concern that detained Tibetan magazine editor is being tortured
25 March - China
Government blocks access to YouTube

in the annual report
China - Annual report 2008
China - Annual report 2007
China - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
archives

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised
29 May - Sri Lanka
Journalists trying to cover fate of Tamils are threatened, obstructed