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Lenovo complies with China's web filtering demand

Posted July 2, 2009

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— Lenovo, the world’s fourth largest PC manufacturer, will comply with Chinese government demands that a controversial web filtering software be included on computers sold in that country.

In its first comments on the issue that has sparked protests in China as well as from numerous businesses and trade groups, Lenovo told Local Tech Wire and WRAL.com that it would comply with the mandate.

Although the so-called “Green Dam” software deadline had been set for July 1, the government on Wednesday announced a delay. The mandate is still expected to be implemented despite global complaints about censorship.

“Lenovo sells in over 160 countries and in so doing we obey the law and abide by local regulations wherever we do business and we will continue to do so,” Lenovo spokesperson Kristy Fair said in an e-mail statement.

“Many of the applicable PCs we sell in China will include either a copy of Green Dam available on the PC's hard drive, which the customer can activate as he/she chooses, or a Green Dam CD-ROM,” she added. “The software is installed and used at the customer's discretion, and Lenovo is not responsible for its performance.”

Lenovo, which bases its global headquarters in Morrisville, is the top PC seller in China where the company launched 25 years ago. Lenovo does most of its business in China and has a second headquarters in Beijing. Its stock is traded in Hong Kong.

Lenovo did not answer questions about costs related to the software and whether consumers would have to pay additional fees.

Green Dam is manufactured in China.

Several other PC makers also have said they will comply with the Chinese government’s demand.

According to the Associated Press, Acer, Sony and China-based Haier Group are shipping Green Dam. Acer, the world’s No. 3 PC maker, is based in Taiwan.

However, Hewlett-Packard said it is working with the U.S. government on the issue and declined comment. Dell did not respond to AP inquiries about the matter.

HP is No. 1 and Dell No. 2 in global PC sales and also are large players in the Chinese market.

Shortly after media reports that the government would delay Green Dam, a government official was quoted in the China Daily on Thursday as saying the requirement would still be made.

"The government will definitely carry on the directive on Green Dam. It's just a matter of time," an official, who was not named, of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told the China Daily.

Lenovo will make “adjustments” as necessary, Fair said in the Lenovo statement.

“We will continue to monitor closely developments regarding Green Dam as they relate to our China PC sales and will make further adjustments according to market and customer needs,” she said.

41 Comments

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  • no contest Jul 2, 2009

    I bet Obama and his ilk wish they could sensor some things here in the USA. As more people see what a mistake he and his administration are the All Barack Channels will be a threat to him.

  • Dolphan Jul 2, 2009

    "This has nothing about suppressing your freedom of speech. Several of your posts are very critical of the US, that's your right. I'm pointing out, you have the CHOICE to live here. Unlike China, you can leave the US. You seem quite unhappy about the US, I'm saying if you don't like it, you can leave."

    Just because I don't blindly believe everything I read or hear doesn't make me Anti-US. Quite the opposite. I'm ok to have an opinion so long as I agree with you eh? And for the record, I do not support censorship. But just because China decides it might be appropriate for their society doesn't make it wrong. Who are we to judge?

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jul 2, 2009

    Seeing that Lenovo is not owned by the Chinese government after being spun off from IBM, this doesn't surprise.

    The surprising thing is that WRAL is trying to make this news worthy when it isn't.

  • turdferguson Jul 2, 2009

    Dolphan - What level of Government control is "just right" ?

    Far less than level enjoyed by the Chinese government. Do you actually believe China is doing the right thing by censoring what it's citizens can learn? The only reason to keep your people ignorant is to prevent them from realizing there might be something better.

  • cartman Jul 2, 2009

    "This is the kind of response I get for expressing my freedom of speech/opinion, the very thing you all are saying China is suppressing...nice"

    This has nothing about suppressing your freedom of speech. Several of your posts are very critical of the US, that's your right. I'm pointing out, you have the CHOICE to live here. Unlike China, you can leave the US. You seem quite unhappy about the US, I'm saying if you don't like it, you can leave.

  • Dolphan Jul 2, 2009

    "Dolphan - one great aspect of the USA......you can leave anytime you want. Feel free to go!"

    This is the kind of response I get for expressing my freedom of speech/opinion, the very thing you all are saying China is suppressing...nice

  • readme Jul 2, 2009

    I just want to go on record saying I don't care if China oppresses its own people. This is not our problem, nor is it the responsibility of our corporations to make moral stands on this issue. For an oppressive country, the Chinese sure do have a lot of nationalistic pride. Who am I to impose my cultural beliefs on them?

  • cartman Jul 2, 2009

    Dolphan - one great aspect of the USA......you can leave anytime you want. Feel free to go!

  • doubletap357 Jul 2, 2009

    Dolphan I think you lost me on that last comment I not certain what your trying to say.

  • doubletap357 Jul 2, 2009

    It is the inherent nature of humans to want freedom. There are those who have never tasted freedom because they lived in closed societies tightly controlled by the dictatorial governments. This way of life is all they have ever known so perhaps they are even content with their status. I believe that once they have seen or experienced freedom they would never be content being controlled by a dictatorial government again.

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