Google has officially launched its Chinese search site with a prediction of strong growth, and a defence of its decision to comply with laws limiting user access. The company was accused of bowing to Beijing earlier this year after agreeing to abide by Chinese censorship rules in order to launch the site. Chief Executive Eric Schmidt says they had no choice but to accept the status quo:
“Its not an option for us to broadly make information available that is illegalor inappropriate or immoral, or what have you. And so we simply don’t have a choice but to follow the law,” he said.
Google expects good returns from its investment. The number of internet users in China is set to exceed 187 million in the next two years. But the Chinese Government enforces strict laws on web content. Any subject considered a threat is blocked. The 1989 Protest in Tianamen Square is one of those topics forbidden.