Internet Companies Apologize To China For Being Too Good

from the in-the-future,-we'll-miss-more-stuff dept

We noted that the Chinese government had called out a bunch of search engines for allowing access to porn recently, and I find it amusing to see that pretty much all of the search engines called out have issued apologies. What I’m wondering is exactly what are they apologizing for? The fact that other people put pornography online? The fact that they’re too good as search engines and are able to find that content?

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: baidu, google

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Internet Companies Apologize To China For Being Too Good”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Eric Li says:

Re: Re: really - who do they think they are ?

Regarding Vietnam yes- see Carter administration.
Regarding Iraq, maybe after the tally exceeds Saddam’s count.
Have the Chinese government apologized for Tibet?

This thread is about censorship and free speech in China not your ethnocentric beliefs of cultural superiority.

Regarding Chinese purchase of GM: I find it interesting that many companies in China are propped up by American companies and investments. Have a look some time to see who is holding the bonds on a good number of the Shanghai skyline. So you would have GM purchased by a Chinese company, which is in part owned by an American company. Its like someone buying them self.

BTW, I’m Chinese(born), I live in the US(citizen) and do business primarily with China. There are reasons we (Chinese) and others come to the US, it is a better place to live, period.

Easily Amused says:

Re: Re: Re:2 really - who do they think they are ?

“When I am asked, I tell people I am an American.”

BRAVO! Way too many people are so fixated on being different that they refuse to integrate. “My great-grandparents were Irish” is more accurate and more appropriate than “I am Irish-American”. This works for any nationality…

Its Me says:


For the fact of offending one of the fastest growing economies accounting for approx. 20% of the worlds population. In a global market A company has to be culturally sensitive to the end users needs. If China wants to sensor the results and not show porn and you know millions of Chinese are using your site then maybe you should do as the Chinese govt is asking if you wish to continue to operate in the Communist country of China.

joe says:

First of all, China is NOT one of the world’s fastest growing economies. They are in even greater economic doo-doo than the USA.

Further, if you have been READING the news, as opposed to watching someone on TV read headlines about plastic celebrities (famous for being famous), you would know that for the past two years, both before and after the Beijing Olympics, and increasingly in recent months, China is being wracked DAILY by public demonstrations and even outright riots. Whole regions, such as Ghunagdung and others, once jammed with export factories and workers are now ghost-towns.

The collapse of the Chinese economy is running ahead of that of the USA. Most ominously of all, China (and Japan) have dramatically slowed the purchase of US Treasury Bonds that prop up the US Dollar.

Point is, “cultural sensitivity” has nothing to do with censorship (not “sensor”). It’s blatant suppression of “inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

It is shameful that corporations put profits before human rights; it’s even more shameful that US laws allow US corporations to be a part of that suppression.

Ken says:

Apology to China

When the Western search engines came to China, they signed agreements that they would abide by Chinese laws regarding porn and free speech, etc., on the Internet. What they’re apologizing for is being bad supervisors of what — in China — is required by law to be blocked but isn’t. The people don’t care; only the government does, because those people are obsessed with control.

Izico (user link) says:

I’m a Chinese living in China now.

I think western governments are too business oriented to spoil our government.

The biggest weapon of our government is the population of our people and the traditional frugalness and diligence of this huge population.

The world should have a better strategy to integrate China to the world.

Say No to our government.This government needs to be pressed often to keep track on better behavior on individual human rights.

But never say No to our people, as we are 1 fifth of the citizens of this earth, and i believe in that we are all created equal no matter of our race and nation.

Howard says:

Protection of human rights

Some posters here like Joe said “Censor of pornography is blatant suppression of “inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.””
Do you mean watching and spreading pornography is your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? LOL…
I want my kids’ human rights protected, and I don’t want young kids’ mind being tainted by those pornographic materials from Internet search engine, Period.
Pronography is even worse than illegal drugs in every modern society.

Your Gawd and Master says:

Re: Protection of human rights

Actually, YES, it is a PART of that inalienable right. Just like your ability to worship your invisible friend of choice is an inalienable right. I think yours is silly like you do mine, but I respect your right to do so. Can you say the same? Doesn’t appear so.

Please tell us all how porn is bad for society without referring to your deity of choice and “his” holy book. I’d like some real numbers and not just conjecture.

While you’re at it, care to explain how drugs are bad for our society other than the fact that people get arrested and thrown in jail for a victimless crime? If a person uses almost any drug responsibly, you will find there are no ill effects for society.

The Dutch just put a report out that showed that The Netherlands has less than a 6% usage of marijuana among their teenagers and young adults compared to 16% or more in countries where marijuana is illegal.

Sorry, if you don’t want porn then join the Amish cause I’d rather my children watch people having sex than violence.

no one says:

Re: Protection of human rights

Pornography is worse than illegal drugs? I think YOURr mind is what’s tainted. Have you ever experienced a person in the ravages of heroin addiction? I assume not because no body in their right mind would think that the sex act is worse. I’m not saying porn isn’t without it faults and problems, but to say that it’s worse than drug abuse/addiction is ignorant.

PS I suppose you have no problem with your kids watching thousands of simulated deaths in a war movie as long as it’s the good guys(Americans) vs the bad guys(everyone else)?

Blatant Coward says:

RE: Protection of Human Rights

“I want my kids’ human rights protected, and I don’t want young kids’ mind being tainted by those pornographic materials from Internet search engine, Period.
Pronography is even worse than illegal drugs in every modern society.”

Howard, you ignorant slut.

Then be with your children when they use the Internet, period. Any method of filtering, blockage, sifting, sorting and suppression known will in time be bypassed, spoofed or otherwise defeated by unsupervised agile minds with a desire to know and the knowledge it is there. This is healthy, this is the drive that let there be 9 billion precious miracles run around on this tired old rock.

Personally, I have yet to see someone break into someone’s home for money for naked people, I have never in my time as a EMT picked up a dead body with a bondage magazine stuck in anything.

Let’s hammer the ‘ol nails one more time. There is no Google Pornography Studio, there is no Yahoo! film lab. The search engines do not provide the ‘smut’ and they do not provide the money for it. I have tried to pound this into the head of every customer I have ever had for computer services. There is no magic filter. There is no perfect antivirus. There is no fixitall program. You want perfect protection for your children on this, be with them. You wouldn’t trust a robot to drive them to school (yet), why are you expecting one on the net?

They only perfect protection can come from within the child. Talk to your child about pornography, tell them why you feel it is wrong-have facts ready, not just ’cause God says’, this is called instilling values in your children. This is their protection. This is their only real protection.

Howard says:

RE: Protection of Human Rights

Yes Mr. Blatant you’re right that the real protection should from the children themselves, and it’s the parents or tutors’ main responsiblity to tell the children why and how they should keep away from unhealthy content from the Internet.
But, I’m wondering, why can’t our law-makers or regulators do a little more, do something right, to make the unregulated Internet environment a little better and cleaner for our civil society? Why our government have to keep a blind eye on these pronography? To protect s.b.’s business ? Or to showcase we are in such a liberal democracy that even pronography and voilence are open and freely available everywhere from the web sites?
Yes we pay tax for public security service, for protection from physical abuse, so what? Clearly We are not immune and not well protected from mental abuse from all kinds of media. So the question here is, “Why we can not pay tax for protection from mental abuses (pronography from the Internet)?”

cipher-0 says:

Re: RE: Protection of Human Rights

But, I’m wondering, why can’t our law-makers or regulators do a little more, do something right, to make the unregulated Internet environment a little better and cleaner for our civil society? Why our government have to keep a blind eye on these pronography[sic]?

For the same reason the government can’t fine people for putting the words “shit” and “fuck” on the internet. There’s this annoying thing the founding fathers put into the constitution called the first amendment.

Mind you, the free speech it outlines are being critical rightly does have its restrictions – child pornography isn’t and never was considered free speech.

If you consider pornography on the internet – which you have a perfect right to not look at – to be mental abuse, what else would you like to block?

Sorry, but it’s not up to the rest of the world to censor itself for your level of comfort.

Michial (user link) says:

Re: Re: RE: Protection of Human Rights

Actually in the correct interpretation of the First Amendment Child Pornography would be protected. There is no exemptions in the First Amendment.

What makes child pornography exempt is that the American People as a near unanimous decision has decided that it is better to protect our children from this type of exploitation until they have reach an arbitrary age that they can make their own informed decisions.


As for Howard, if you were a good parent your children would grow up educated about sex, but instead you probably feel that you don’t need to have that talk with them until they are 17 and almost ready to start a life on their own.

Kids need to be taught about sex young, and young is way younger than you think. If you are open, talk with your kids and teach your kids, they will grow up to think of porn as just another picture on the INTERNET. They won’t turn into the addict that I am sure you are.

Kids seek out porn or any other material because it’s natural to be curious, and if you take the time to teach them about these topics then they will find other more constructive things to seek out. Take the stigma away from the item and they won’t be drawn to it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: RE: Protection of Human Rights

Howard -> “But, I’m wondering, why can’t our law-makers or regulators do a little more, do something right, to make the unregulated Internet environment a little better and cleaner for our civil society?”

Are you suggesting a “War on Porn” ?

Do you really think that would work out better than the war on drugs, war on terror, war on poverty ?

silentsteel says:

Re: RE: Protection of Human Rights

“But, I’m wondering, why can’t our law-makers or regulators do a little more, do something right, to make the unregulated Internet environment a little better and cleaner for our civil society?”

Because it is not their job to do that. If you do not want to take the responsibility to raise your kids, do not have kids.

As an adult, I have the right to view things on the internet that maybe I do not want my children to view, not just pornography also gory car wreck images and things of that nature. To prevent them from viewing these things I talk with them and monitor what they are doing on the computer.

If your morals are such that you do not want to even acknowledge pornography, then do not acknowledge it. It is very simple.

When you expect the government to take care of everything for you, you are one of the sheeple who is incapable of thinking for themselves.

Another AC says:

Re: RE: Protection of Human Rights

Because it is called Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Expression. Some of the things that make the USA a great country, why so many in this country are so hell bent on suppressing this is far beyond me. It must be that you support these things as long as you agree with the message, otherwise it must be obscene.

What is obscene to one is not to another, if you don’t like, don’t look at it, change the channel. Have a nice day.

CastorTroy-Libertarian says:

Re: RE: Protection of Human Rights

Howard, your missing the point. You can’t Censor just PORN. Once the Government starts to Censor one thing, who says they won’t censor another, and another, until only “Government” approved and created content is available. IF you want freedom you have to take the bad with the good. Not just say I DONT LIKE it and it should be banned. Murder is against the law yes? so if you kill someone you go to jail? Maybe, if its proven, now the criminal/justice/injustice system is overloaded, and you want to add to that for something that, at worst, affects one person…

Bastid (profile) says:

Hey Howard

Pornography is worse than illegal drugs? Are you fucking serious? Pun INTENDED. You would rather your kids shoot smack than watch people having sex? You prefer an activity that pushes some to theft, SEX and violent crime over watching sex? I don’t understand this reasoning though I have encountered it before. I a going to assume that you would also prefer them watch a movie in which people are shot to death than one that displays naked breasts. It’s sex. Most do it. It only becomes something bad when it is stigmatized. I have used drugs. I have had some crazy sex (bondage, two girls, role playing). And when I look back I only cringe remembering drug-related incidences.

Hey Woon,
“The days of white oppression is over.” Time AGAIN for yellow oppression? Every race color and creed has oppressed another and their own at some point. I’m not touching the Iraqi or Vietnamese issues except to say that the Vietnamese that I know are glad they got out. Ok, maybe I will. The Iraq and Vietnam campaigns are examples of why I wish America would start pulling it’s support from abroad. War for oil? Saving the Turncoat French from getting their asses kicked AGAIN? “F” that!

Ok those are my rants over comments, on to the topic. China’s repression of desires is going to cause outrage by the citizens and eventual perversion of desires. I cite the things I have seen in porn shops in Tokyo as support for my argument. Japanese society is so rigid that when they let their hair down – watch out! The search engine companies are doing what smart businesses do. “I’m so sorry, I’ll get that corrected immediately and credit your account 10% off this order.” People are still going to find the porn.

Bad Karma says:

Ken & Izico got it right

There’s nothing I can add that Ken & Izico hadn’t said already.

Companies operating globally has to abide by their host nations’ laws. If you want to do business in the United States, then your company must abide by The U.S. Constitution….likewise, if you want to do business in China, then your company must abide by Chinese laws (and yes, that means censoring Jenna Jameson searches).

With that said, Izico is right when he said that the world must put pressure on China to join the 21st century.

John (profile) says:

Two points

First, an on-topic point:
I think these companies are being “men”: they’re apologizing… no one knows what they’re actually apologizing for, but they’re apologizing. After all, “you know what you did wrong and I shouldn’t have to tell you”.

Second, there can’t be any pornography filters until someone comes up with a definitive definition for “pornography”. Sure, we can agree on the hardcore X-rated stuff, but what about Playboy? Is 18th century artwork, which happens to show nude women “pornographic”? To some people, any nudity is pornographic.

So how do you filter this? Do you tell all search engines not to return any searches from the world’s museums?

Jon says:

Pot meet Kettle!

Why on Earth should any search engine in the entire WORLD apologize to the Chinese government for anything?? China singlehandedly chokes my Spam filters with more crap mail than all other sources combined!!
If they paid more attention to what is spewing across the world from their own provinces half the Porn locatable on search engines would vanish overnight! Every time my Firewall pounces on an attempted Hack of my computer I have bets with myself that it is Chinese in origin. On follow-up I’m almost never wrong! If we multiply my experiences by the rest of the internet users, then .. sorry .. the Chinese government needs to stop being such a pathetic HYPOCRITE and clean up its own act on line, AND apologize to the rest of the world!!

Jim Cartright says:


People In the US need to wake up and realize that the government of China Is a devout enemy of the US and It constantly tries to hack the Pentagon and every major US base. They hacked Obama and McCains’s campaign headquarters and successfully accessed all of their data on what their foreign policy might be. The Chinese government Is a corrupt criminal organization. The Chinese people are not the enemy. I make that clear. US companies are complicit in these crimes against humanity and should be banned from doing business In China, Google,Cisco,Yahoo have blood on their hands! They should be held accountable!

NET625 says:


I think that China needs to get over the fact that they can not control a whole population and the internet. In China the internet is the only place where people can express themselves. You take that away and you will have a very unhappy populace that just happens to be 1/5 of the worlds population. I sometimes wonder what has happened to the Chinese people that they are willing to put up with this shit. Although I will say that the US government is far from innocent. I would also say that porn is much better then some of the other things on the internet. Please don’t forget that knowledge is power. I would also like to mention to anyone reading this that I would have to agree with some of the posters above that China should apologize to the Internets collective spam boxes because I get at least 1,000 spam messages a month and most if not all are from China if not in Chinese. So China I will take my apology in cash. Preferably about $60 the price I pay for internet for about a month and a half.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...