An editorial in China’s People’s Daily newspaper on Monday said Google had become a “political tool” and warned the company that its statements concerning a recent hacking incident could hurt its business, according to Reuters report.
Last week, Google said on its company blog that hackers based in Jinan, China had tried to hack into the Gmail accounts of senior White House officials, Chinese political activists, and South Korean officials, among others.
The Chinese government quickly denied involvement in the attacks. But with the People’s Daily — the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China — calling Google out, the scope of the event widens.
“Google should not become overly embroiled in international political struggle, playing the role of a tool for political contention,” wrote the People’s Daily overseas edition. “For when the international winds shift direction, it may become sacrificed to politics and will be spurned by the marketplace.”
Google has had a rocky relationship with China since January 2010, when Google sparred with the country over censorship concerns. In March 2011, Google also called out the Chinese government for meddling with the Gmail accounts of some users.
Google is an precarious position, as China has more Internet users than any other country, and the company would surely like to have a hand in China’s quickly growing market. Unfortunately, with such a deteriorated relationship and back-and-forth bickering, it’s anybody’s guess if that rapport will ever improve.