Google pushing Obama admin. to take China Web rules to WTO

Google is imploring U.S. officials to argue against China's strict Internet censorship laws before the World Trade Organization, according to media reports.

The move would be "well worth consideration," as China's Web practices have made it exceptionally hard for a number of companies to do business there, explained Nicole Wong, deputy general counsel at Google, at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.


However, it remains unclear whether the White House might actually press the issue before the world's predominate foreign trade body, especially at a time when diplomatic relations with China are already tenuous.

Previously, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told Bloomberg that the Obama administration was "looking at" the possibility of an official WTO complaint against China on its Web rules. But no decision seems to have been made, and there's no mention of such a tactic in the administration's recently released trade guidelines.

Kirk's office was unavailable for further comment on Wednesday.

But even the discussion about an official WTO complaint signals the level of frustration over China's Internet practices that is brewing in both U.S. political and commercial circles.

A number of companies, including Google, are now trying to frame China's strict censorship rules as detriments to doing business and obstacles for world trade.

However, Google, in particular, remains in compliance with China's Web standards; while the company plans to stop censoring its results, it has yet to do so.