26 June, 2009

Google briefly cut off in China

Posted: 25 June 2009 1350 hrs

BEIJING: Google's main English-language website was inaccessible for more than two hours in China, state media reported, as Beijing continued to pressure the Internet giant to eliminate pornography.

The outage occurred Wednesday night, the China Daily newspaper said, adding that its Chinese-language website google.cn was unaffected.

A Google China spokesperson could not immediately be reached by AFP.

However, the company's China public relations firm confirmed that Google had received complaints from Internet users.

"Google did receive reports from users yesterday that google.com was not accessible for some time. But we have no further comment on that," said a spokeswoman with Ogilvy, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official China Daily said a Google spokesman confirmed the service cut in comments to the newspaper but would not speculate on the cause.

The paper said the outage also cut off access to Gmail, Google's email service.

Google's sites in both languages appeared to be working normally on Thursday.

Google promised last week to work harder to eliminate pornography from its Chinese Web searches after a government Internet watchdog accused the firm of continuing to allow such results.

China has vowed to crack down on Internet content that it deems unhealthy, which has included pornography and information critical of authorities, a censorship system dubbed the "Great Firewall of China".

Computer makers were notified by the government recently that all personal computers sold from July 1 must be shipped with anti-pornography software, a move that has led to widespread censorship fears both inside and outside China.

China has the world's largest online population at nearly 300 million Web users and the country's Communist Party rulers have struggled to control a proliferation of online content in recent years.

- AFP/yt

From ChannelNewsAsia.com; see the source article here.

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