Microsoft Staying the Course in China
Microsoft today affirmed that it has not been swayed by Google's change of direction with regard to filtering search results in China.
Google announced earlier this week that it had redirected its Google.cn Chinese search traffic to servers in Hong Kong. It has stopped censoring content as prescribed by Chinese law. In wake of Google's action, Microsoft plans to continue to expand its presence in China.
Yusef Mehdi confirmed Microsoft's direction in a Q&A following his keynote address today at Search Engine Strategies 2010 Conference and Expo in New York.
"Microsoft's approach is we are in over 100 countries on a worldwide basis where they all have different laws and we respect those and we will follow those laws," Mehdi said. "Our view on how to help consumers around the globe is to be an active participant. I think you can have more impact being there in the country, helping folks provide this service, so that's the approach we will take, and we will work on many parties with that."
After threatening to pull out of China in January after its site was hacked, Google on Monday made the move after deciding it no longer wanted to comply with the Chinese government's requirement that it censor all users' queries.
When asked his reaction to Google's specific action, Mehdi declined to comment.
Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.