China’s official Communist Party newspaper issued a caustic response on Monday to Google’s charge that Chinese hackers had taken aim at influential users of its Gmail service, calling the accusations “political gaming” aimed at fomenting new discord between the Beijing and Washington governments.
The newspaper, People’s Daily, published a front-page editorial in Monday’s international editions that also suggested that Google’s actions could cost it credibility in the business world. “Many international bystanders believe that Google’s charge is thickly tainted with political colors, and one can’t dismiss the fact that Google is taking advantage and provoking new Sino-American Internet security disputes with sinister intentions,” stated the editorial. “Today’s Google really makes one wring one’s hands. What was once a model of leading Internet innovation has now become a political tool for slandering other countries.” “Once the international winds change,” the editorial later added, “Google might become a political sacrifice and might be discarded by the market.”
Google declined to officially comment on the editorial, but a spokesman responded to the article’s headline, “Google, What Do You Want?” The company publicly charged that Chinese hackers had broken into Gmail accounts to protect its users and help them stay safe online, the spokesman said. “We think users should be aware of this disturbing campaign,” he said.