It was quite amusing yesterday to hear China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu's response to Google's threat of possibly leaving the country.
"China's Internet is open," said Jiang. "China has tried creating a favourable environment for the Internet," she said in responding to Google's threat of quitting the Middle Kingdom.
"China welcomes international Internet companies to conduct business within the country according to the law," she said.
When my colleague Xiao Zhu read this, she exclaimed, "How can they lie like that!"
Well... to the Chinese government, the Internet is open, just selectively...
Yu also added that Chinese law prohibits cyber crimes including hacker attacks.
Many believe those cyber attacks originating from China have the tacit approval of the government. And the rule of law does not necessarily include the government.
It took almost two days for the Chinese government to respond, which indicates that perhaps China was thrown off by Google's announcement, or it was weighing all the pros and cons of what it would say to the public.
But Yu's statement didn't necessarily win any domestic points, as those who are Google fans are disappointed or distraught, while those who use Baidu couldn't care less.
Now the ball is back in Google's court...