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January 18, 2010

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Yahoo Google support 'reckless'

CHINA'S e-commerce giant Alibaba has turned on major shareholder Yahoo Inc, calling the American company's support of Google in its standoff with China "reckless."

Google last week threatened to pull out of China if it couldn't operate an unfiltered search engine. Yahoo said it was "aligned" with Google's position, though it's not clear what that meant.

"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," Alibaba spokesman John Spelich said on Saturday. "Alibaba doesn't share this view."

Yahoo closed its offices in China several years ago when it sold much of its business in the country to the Alibaba Group. Yahoo retains a 39 percent stake in Alibaba that represents one of Yahoo's most valuable assets.

A Google spokeswoman, Jessica Powell, said on Saturday that Google had not closed its offices in China and that "it's business as usual."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, said last week it was thinking about quitting China after a sophisticated cyber attack on its network.

The company said it is no longer willing to filter content on its Chinese language search engine and will try to negotiate a legal unfiltered search engine, or exit the market.

Most of the filters on were still in place yesterday.

The Google announcement captured the attention of China's 384 million Netizens, the world's largest number of Internet users, with blogs and media reports quoting unnamed insiders as saying that Google had already decided to close its offices.

Google denied that, saying the company was still in the process of scanning its internal networks since the cyber-attack in mid-December. Google also said it would hold talks with the Chinese government over the next few weeks.

China said there were many ways to resolve the issue, but insisted all foreign companies, Google included, must abide by Chinese laws while doing business in the country.



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