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Google accused over China censorship

Broke written promise

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The Chinese government has reacted angrily to Google's decision to stop censoring search engine results in the country.

From last night visitors to Google.cn found themselves redirected to Google.com.hk, based in Hong Kong, and a less-censored selection of search results - more details on the move here. The company has been reconsidering business in China since January, when it accused the Chinese government of backing hacking attacks.

But official Chinese media said the accusation of government support for hackers was groundless and said Google was "politicalizing itself".

An official from the Internet Bureau of the State Council Information Office said: "Google has violated its written promise it made when entering the Chinese market by stopping filtering its searching service and blaming China in insinuation for alleged hacker attacks. This is totally wrong. We're uncompromisingly opposed to the politicization of commercial issues, and express our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conducts."

An opinion piece on Xihuanet noted that regulation of the internet was a matter for sovereign states - all countries censor aspects of internet content and activity.

It said: "It is unfair for Google to impose its own value and yardsticks on Internet regulation to China, which has its own time-honored tradition, culture and value."

Google has also set up a site to monitor which services are available in mainland China - at the time of writing YouTube and Blogger remain blocked and there are restrictions on Google Docs, Picasa and Groups. ®

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