China To Google: Follow The Law

Not a big surprise, but the Chinese government has not been won over by Google’s manifesto. The government made its first official statements on Google’s threat to shut down its China operations if it isn’t allowed to uncensor its search results, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying, “China welcomes international internet enterprises to conduct business in China according to law” (via AP) and adding that “the Chinese government administers the internet according to law and we have explicit stipulations over what content can be spread on the internet” (via Bloomberg).

Other statements from government officials show a similar unwillingness to provide an exception or loophole to Google (NSDQ: GOOG), with a State Council Information Office official saying, “Effective guidance of public opinion on the Internet is an important way of protecting the security of online information.” That implies that China won’t be receptive to Google’s demand.

It’s unlikely, however, that there will be any immediate action. A Google spokesman tells us that the company will be “talking to the Chinese government over the next few weeks, and hope(s) to reach a mutually constructive outcome.”