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Microsoft criticized for stance in China following Google's shift
One Microsoft Way

Microsoft has made it clear that it doesn't plan to follow Google's lead in China, where the search giant this week shifted its traffic to uncensored servers in Hong Kong in defiance of the Chinese government. In an interview with the Guardian, Google co-founder Sergey Brin called out Microsoft for its position.

"I'm very disappointed for them in particular," Brin said. "As I understand, they have effectively no market share – so they essentially spoke against freedom of speech and human rights simply in order to contradict Google."

Microsoft does, in fact, have a relatively small slice of the search market in China, but the company's business decisions no doubt take into account its broader interests in the country, most notably sales of Windows and other software programs there.

In any event, Brin isn't the only one criticizing the Redmond company over its position. During a Congressional hearing today, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, said Microsoft needs "to get with the program and join with the side of human rights rather than enabling tyranny, which is what they're doing now," according to a MarketWatch report.

Separately, domain registration company GoDaddy.com said today that it would stop registering domain names in China.

CNNMoney quotes a Microsoft statement on the situation: "We appreciate that different companies may make different decisions based on their own experiences and views. At Microsoft we remain committed to advancing free expression through active engagement in over 100 countries, even as we comply with the laws in every country in which we operate."

Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2010 @ 01:24:06 UTC by NB


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