Google Irks China, Again

Beijing threatens search giant's business

Beijing’s state-run mouthpiece to the world, the overseas edition of the People’s Daily, accused Google of making China look like the bad guy. A strongly worded article in the newspaper today said continued suggestive statements about recent hacking attacks could hinder the company’s business.

The article comes after Google said last week that it thwarted efforts to steal login information for hundreds of Google accounts, many of which belonged to U.S. government officials and Chinese human rights activists. Google was able to stop the meddling, which it says originated in China, but not before some privacy information had been compromised.

China’s foreign ministry rejected accusations of any wrongdoing and continued its campaign in the People’s Daily by pointing a finger at Google, accusing the search engine giant of playing political games. The article failed to mention just exactly how Google’s business might be hurt by infuriating leadership in Beijing, but last year’s debacle between the company and China over censorship may act as a clue.

Following increasing tensions between the U.S. and China over Internet policy and Google’s frustration with the restrictive environment, the company partially pulled out of China in 2010. Though the move may have put Google on the moral high ground, it also ceded a chunk of the market to Chinese competitor Baidu, which now has more than 450 million users.