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Irate Chinese threaten Google boycott

Taiwan controversy rumbles on

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China has thrown a predictable strop at Google after the search monolith apparently bowed to Taiwanese pressure to stop calling the island a province of China on its popular maps service.

As we recently reported, Taiwan emailed Google to insist it is in fact the Republic of China. Foreign ministry spokesman, Michel Lu, explained: "It is incorrect to call Taiwan a province of China because we are not. We have contacted Google to express our position and asked them to correct the description."

According to the BBC, Google has now removed the offending reference to "province" and the Chinese have kicked off as a result. Peng Keyu, consul general of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, expressed his disappointment to the SingTao Daily, and the Chinese media reckons that chatroom militants across China are suggesting a boycott of Google's China service.

Down at poor old Google, meanwhile, spokeswoman Debbie Frost attempted to downplay the significance of the change when she told Chinese state news agency Xinhua that it was nothing more than a "regular update", rather than "a deliberate effort to specifically update the Taiwan page".

Yeah right Debbie. We're almost inclined to feel a bit sorry for Google on this one - caught as it is between a rock and a hard place. On the other hand, we'll save our pity for a more worthy cause and continue to enjoy Google discomfort. ®

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