Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 28 February 2010





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Google recruiting in China despite withdrawal threat

US Internet giant Google has posted ads for dozens of positions in its China business, suggesting it may be rethinking its threat to leave the country over cyberattacks and online censorship.

Google is seeking to hire 40 staff, including engineers, sales managers and research scientists in Beijing, Shanghai and the southern city of Guangzhou, according to advertisements seen on its website Wednesday.

The job ads - the first since Google threatened to shut down its Chinese language search engine rather than bow to government censors - could mean the firm planned to stay in China, tech analyst Li Zhi said.

"They are in the process of resolving this issue (with the government)," said Li, a Beijing-based analyst at research firm Analysys International.

"Their business in China won't change too much this year." Google threatened in January to leave China over what it said were cyberattacks aimed at its source code and at the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists around the world.

Meanwhile, Google has continued to filter search engine results in China, which has the world's largest number of online users at 384 million.

A spokeswoman for Google China did not respond to emails or phone calls from AFP seeking confirmation of the recruitment drive and the status of Google's talks with Beijing.

Google representatives and Chinese officials were to resume talks in the coming days after a break for China's Lunar New Year holiday, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

The talks will centre on whether the US firm can deliver unfiltered Internet search results in China, the report said.

Google China spokeswoman Marsha Wang told AFP Tuesday she had no updates on plans for talks when asked about the report.



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