Google exec in China says no knowledge of WikiLeaks claim over China attack
Posted by Author on December 7, 2010
AFP, Dec. 7, 2010 –
BEIJING — A senior executive for Google said Tuesday the firm had “no firsthand knowledge” of information in leaked US diplomatic cables linking China’s top propaganda official to cyberattacks on the US web giant.
In January, Google said it had fallen victim to attacks by China-based cyber spies apparently intent on hacking into the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, touching off a huge battle with Beijing on censorship.
Diplomatic messages leaked by WikiLeaks point to Li Changchun, the senior Chinese Communist party official in charge of propaganda, as the overseer of the attacks against Google and 20 other companies.
“We made our statement back in January. We have no firsthand knowledge of any of the information that was contained in any of those cables,” said Alan Eustace, senior vice president for engineering and research at Google.
“I have nothing to add,” Eustace, who was participating in an innovation forum hosted by the company in Beijing, told reporters.
When the spat with Google first erupted in January, China denied any state involvement in the cyberattacks on the California-based firm, calling such accusations “groundless”.
In March, Google began redirecting searches from Google.cn to Google.com.hk, allowing uncensored Chinese search results. But it ended the automatic redirect in June to avoid having its licence suspended by China.
Google’s share of the search engine market in China, which has the world’s largest online population of at least 420 million, has since dwindled to just over 21 percent, as compared to 73 percent for China’s Baidu, analysts say.
“It’s fantastic to be at the heart of the future of the Internet,” Eustace said.
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