Google withdrew its search engine business from China in 2010 after it was the victim of a coordinated cyber attack that hacked into their email service. Those attacks originated in China. According to a so-called exclusive report from The Epoch Times, a media organization from Taiwan, the ex-Chongqing mayor orchestrated the downfall of Google. Bo Xilai, the ex-Chongqing’s mayer, is supposed to be one of the main contenders for promotion in China’s leadership change this year. But he has been sacked for suggesting a fierce political fight behind the scenes.
In 2009, Bo approached Baidu’s chairman, willing to promise that Google would be thrust out of China. The ambitious politician needed the local search engine to cooperate with Chongqing officials, and lift the censorship on articles criticizing the country’s leader, Premier and presumptive next Party head … Google’s popularity in China made it very unpopular with another Chinese search engine, Baidu. The Epoch Times reported an unnamed source from Beijing, said that Bo Xilai relayed a message to Baidu’s chairman 3 years ago, claiming he has a way to make google definitely withdraw from China. It was agreed that in exchange for lifting censorship of articles criticizing Bo’s political rival. Google was first attacked on grounds that it was spreading pornography. Later we have all the cyber attacks on Gmail, and the stealing of Google’s intellectual property. In the end, Google left China and Baidu became the largest search engine in the country, with no real competitor. Google never did reveal if the cyber attacks were launched by the Chinese regime, but Google engineers did trace them back to Chinese state agencies. According to WikiLeaks, the cyber attacks on Google were orchestrated by some ‘high’ authorities from the Chinese government, it was indeed a ‘one-hundred percent’ political in nature.
It’s hard to imagine how political infighting can heavily influence the internet business in China. It’s really evil and ugly. After the downfall of Bo Xilai, no one know whether China will open up more internet freedom. But from the suspending comment on social network services and some ‘emergency test’ to quickly block access to foreign websites, there seem to be not much room to reduce the internet censorship in China.
UPDATE : Baidu has send us an email and want us to remove this story. We have made some correction on this article. We apologized for the inconvenient caused for quoting this story. After all, we are just a small tech blog, we will not discuss too much political issue over here. Here is the content of the email:
This story reports as fact some absolute fabrications that were created by the ‘Fxlxxgxxx’-backed media Epoch Times and NTDTV. No respectable objective media could possibly accept as true these incredible claims. Look up the sources of these stories: They have a clear, absolutely obvious objective and it degrades this website to repeat these comically and completely baseless accusations.
As Baidu’s director of international communications I absolutely deny all of the accusations contained in your story and in the preposterous pieces that it cites.
I hope that you will have the good sense to remove this piece of libel immediately.
Director, International Communications, Baidu
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