Google calls on West to counter China web restrictions

Google has issued a policy brief calling on Western nations to help fight web restrictions in China and beyond.

China

Google has called on the West to encourage a loosening of web restrictions in China and in other countries, warning such constraints may harm commercial interests in the offending nations.

In a policy brief seen by Reuters, Google said internet restrictions pose a threat to free trade and the situation will only worsen if Western nations do not step in.

"More than 40 governments now engage in broad-scale restriction of online information, a tenfold increase from just a decade ago," Google said.

"These actions unnecessarily restrict trade, and left unchecked, they will almost certainly get worse."

The move will potentially further exacerbate the rift between the US corporation and the emerging superpower.

Earlier this year, Google had threatened to leave China altogether over censorship issues and a hack attack on the search giant, which Google believed came from the Asian nation.

Following the initial spat, Google started rerouting Chinese users to its Hong Kong service for uncensored search results.

Despite anxieties about Google being forced out of the country, its ICP licence was renewed by the Chinese government in July.

Users who head to Google.cn now will have the choice of either going to Google.com.hk to carry out a normal web search or using a small number of services running on the Chinese version, such as music and text translate.

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