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China tells foreign IT firms to operate within law

January 14, 2010 14:39 IST

A day after world's top search engine Google threatened to shut down its operations alleging cyber attacks and censorship, China on Thursday said that foreign internet firms were welcome to do business in the country "according to the law".

Offering Beijing's first comments in response to its row with Google, foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu sought to play down the differences saying that the Communist government was against "any form of cyber attack such as hacking".

"China like all countries administers the internet according to the law", Jiang was quoted as saying by official news agency Xinhua. Claiming that internet was "open" in China, she said.

"The Chinese government encourages development of internet and is creating favourable environment for it".
Google, according to its top executives said it was taking this "extreme step" because of cyber attacks and censorship by the communist regime of content provided by Chinese human rights activists.

China has also stated its position on the Google row to the US after Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said Google's allegations about cyber spying "raise very serious concerns and questions."

The leader of the Chinese Parliament Wu Bangguo called on Washington to respect its "core interests" in his talks with the high level US Congressional delegation.

The Chinese reaction comes as Google announced on Tuesday that it would pull out of the world's largest online market.

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