Google Deals in Doubt Amid Spat With Beijing

Google Inc. is still censoring search content for some of its customers in China, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday, in a decision that underscores the Internet giant’s delicate effort to hold onto its mainland businesses days after moving its search engine offshore. The decision to provide censored searches was made to honor contracts with current business partners, and Google will continue to meet those commitments, said Jessica Powell, the company’s Tokyo-based spokeswoman. She said that all censoring done by Google in China would be phased out over a time period she would not specify. “If there are cases where we were providing a censored search and were contractually required to provide censored search, then we will honor those requirements,” Powell said. She added separately in an e-mail that over time Google would “not be offering syndicated censored search to any partners in China.” Powell declined to name the customers, but Li Zhi, an analyst for Analysys International, a Beijing research firm, said Google was likely referring to search services on sites such as Sina, China’s most popular portal, and, a popular forum site.


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