Originally published: January 29, 2010
Last updated: January 29, 2010 - 7:18pm
Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said his company opposes censorship in China and aims to apply pressure to improve the situation for the country's people.
"We love what China is doing as a country and its growth," Schmidt said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "We just don't like the censorship. We hope to apply some negotiation or pressure to make things better for the Chinese people." Schmidt doesn't want to close the company's operations in China.
He risks alienating some potential users in China with his comments and could have chosen his words more carefully, said Seth Faison, a crisis-communications expert at Sitrick & Co. in New York, who worked as a journalist in China for more than a decade. Some Chinese may appreciate Google's efforts to limit censorship, while others may resent a foreign company trying to influence the government's policies, he said. "If Google was to say, 'We believe in free flow of information and it's not working for us in China' -- they'll get a lot of respect," he said. "If they say, 'We're trying to force China's government to change its censorship policy' -- that will be less effective."
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