BEIJING (AP) — China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba turned on major shareholder Yahoo Inc. on Saturday, calling the American company’s support of Google in its standoff with China “reckless.”
Google has promised to stop censoring its search results in China, threatening to pull out of the country altogether if it can’t operate an unfiltered search engine. Yahoo has said it was “aligned” with Google’s position, though it’s not clear what that means.
“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 Saturday. “Alibaba doesn’t share this view.”
Yahoo closed its own offices in China several years ago when it sold much of its business there to the Alibaba Group. Yahoo retains a 39 percent stake in Alibaba that represents one of Yahoo’s most valuable assets.
Yahoo spokeswoman Nina Blackwell has declined to say whether the company would consider selling its holdings.
Google hopes it can persuade the Chinese government to agree to changes that would enable its China-based Google.cn site to show uncensored search results.
A Google spokeswoman, Jessica Powell, said by e-mail Saturday that Google has not closed its offices in China and that “it’s business as usual.”
Google’s threat to end its China operations has alarmed an Internet-connected public that is the world’s largest at 384 million people.
Beijing requires Internet traffic to pass through government-controlled gateways that block access to material deemed subversive or pornographic. Google’s China-based site excludes from its results any foreign Web sites to which access is blocked.