Chinese Paper Accuses Google of Hampering Searches

biggooglebksGoogle Inc. faces a new controversy in China after a Web site run by the Communist Party’s main newspaper accused the U.S. search giant of trying to keep Internet users away following its reports on a copyright dispute.

The online People’s Daily book section said the three-day disruption began last Wednesday after it reported on a Chinese group’s complaint that Google’s plan for an online library of digitized books might violate Chinese authors’ copyrights.

Google searches returned a warning that the site might contain software that could harm computers, said Pan Jian, the section’s manager.

“We got complaints from readers that they couldn’t access our channel via Google,” Pan said Tuesday. “We thought it might be related to our reporting on the conflict between Google Library and Chinese authors.”

An unidentified People’s Daily official quoted on the paper’s Web site said the section was “maliciously blocked by Google.” A Google spokeswoman, Cui Jin, denied the warning was prompted by the site’s reporting on the copyright dispute.

“This is absolutely incorrect,” Cui said. She said the warning was generated by software that is “an automatic function without any human interference.”

Pan said his site’s technicians found nothing wrong. He said the Chinese search engine Baidu did not return a similar warning, but Cui said that might be because Baidu does not use the same screening software. The software was produced by StopBadware.org, an industry group that promotes Internet security, Cui said. The group’s Web site says it is coordinated by Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and supported by companies such as Google, PayPal, Mozilla, AOL and Trend Micro.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, has faced other complaints about its operations in China, where the government uses an extensive filtering system to try to block access to material deemed lewd or subversive.

In June, Beijing accused Google of allowing access to pornography. That followed an unexplained outage that temporarily blocked users in China from seeing Google’s U.S. site, its China-based site google.cn and its Gmail e-mail service.

Google has struggled to expand in China, where it has less than 30 percent of the search market, versus more than 60 percent for local rival Baidu Inc. China has more than 338 million Internet users, a group bigger than the entire U.S. population.

In the copyright dispute, the China Written Works Copyright Society called on Google last week to negotiate compensation for Chinese authors. Google has reached a tentative agreement to compensate U.S. authors and publishers. It applies only to the United States, but Google said it is encouraging rightsholders abroad to register for the settlement.

Baidu also has faced complaints about its operations.

Last November, it was accused by a state television news program of allowing unlicensed sellers of medical products to pay for better placement in search results without informing users. Baidu launched a review of whether advertisers had required licenses and said it dropped links to some merchants.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Mobile

Join the Apple club with our complete guide to switching from Android to iOS

If Android simply isn’t cutting it for you anymore, then you might be considering Apple’s warm embrace. Here’s how to make the switch from Android to iOS without losing your contacts, sleep, or hair!
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Music

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Mobile

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Computing

Google is giving its G Suite web apps new touches of visual improvements

Your G Suite applications will soon have a different look. Several of the web apps are getting updated with subtle visual improvements inspired by Google's Material Design guidelines. 
Computing

Hackers are scoring with ransomware that attacks its previous victims

Computer viruses are always evolving. In a new one, dubbed "Ryuk," hackers are targeting PCs with ransomware that scours an infected network in order to pinpoint and attack and enterprises with big money.
Computing

An update to Microsoft To-Do will help you keep up with your resolutions

If you're looking to stay productive in 2019, you might want to check out the freshly updated Microsoft To-Do app, now with additional integration with the Windows 10 Start Menu and more.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?
Computing

Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

Changes are on the way for two key features in Windows 10. A separation of Windows 10 search and Cortana will allow Microsoft to more often innovate on each of the features independently.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents with Adobe or a free option

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.
Computing

Nvidia’s next midrange card might be a GTX 1660 Ti, rumors suggest

Nvidia may be working on a non-RTX Turing graphics card called the 1660 Ti. Rumors suggest it will have around 20 percent fewer CUDA cores than the RTX 2060 and will lack ray tracing support.