Yahoo! says that they have to follow instructions from Chinese government
Worldâ€™s most popular web portal Yahoo! recently came under fire from the media when they were accused for helping Chinese government leading to imprisonment of a journalist. The search engine company has said that they have no choice but to abide by the laws of the land, which happens to be one of the most lucrative markets for the company. Yahoo! is in serious competition with Google to form a solid base in China, one of the fastest growing internet communities in the world.
The media watchdogs claimed that Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. provided details about an email conversation, which was used to identify the journalist, involved leading to imprisonment. Shi Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison for leaking state secrets abroad. Yahoo representative Mary Osako said in a statement to news agency Reuters: “Just like any other global company, Yahoo! must ensure that its local country sites must operate within the laws, regulations and customs of the country in which they are based.â€
However, they still declined to confirm anything on the news circulating around on their involvement in the process leading to the prison sentence for the journalist. China has pretty strict privacy laws as the bloggers in the country would testify too. They broadly define as a state secret anything that affects the security and interests of the state. This makes it pretty complicated for news agencies to decide what they can publish and what they cannot.
The conviction of Shi Tao sent shockwaves through the Chinese journalist community as many of them felt that the prison sentence was too big of a punishment for what he was charged for.