THE row over internet censorship in China heated up at the weekend when Yahoo’s Chinese partner turned on it and attacked it for backing rival Google in its standoff with Beijing about cyber hacking.
Alibaba, Yahoo’s partner in China, called the US internet giant, which is a major shareholder, “reckless” for its support for Google.
Google has promised to stop censoring its search results in China and threatened to pull out of the country altogether if it cannot operate an unfiltered search engine. Yahoo said last week it was “aligned” with Google’s position.
Yahoo is also reported to have been targeted by hackers in China but has remained silent on the issue. “Alibaba Group has communicated to Yahoo that Yahoo’s statement that it is ‘aligned’ with the position Google took last week was reckless given the lack of facts in evidence,” said an Alibaba spokesman.
Alibaba and Yahoo formed a strategic partnership in 2005 when Yahoo closed its own offices in China and sold much of its business there to Alibaba. Yahoo has a 39 per cent stake in Alibaba.
Google hopes it can persuade the Chinese government to agree to changes that would enable its China-based Google.cn site to show uncensored search results.