Google Inc's recently launched news service in China doesn't display results from Web sites blocked by that country's authorities, raising prickly questions for an online search engine that has famously promised to "do no evil." \nDynamic Internet Technology Inc, a research firm striving to defeat online censorship, conducted tests that found Google omits results from the government-banned sites if search requests are made through computers connecting to the Internet in China. \nSteered by an identical search request, computers with a US connection retrieved results from the sites blocked by China. \n"That's a problem because the Chinese people need to know there are alternative opinions from the Chinese government and there are many things being covered up by the government," said Bill Xia, Dynamic's chief executive. "Users expect Google to return anything on the Internet. That's what a search engine does." \nXia suspects Google is cooperating with the Chinese government's censorship efforts to smooth the way for expansion plans that could help the Mountain View-based company boost future profits. \nThe Chinese government lashed out at Google two years ago when it temporarily blocked access to the company's main search engine before relenting under public pressure. \nGoogle acknowledges that its Chinese language news service -- introduced on a test basis two weeks ago -- is leaving out results from government-banned sites, but the company believes the omissions jibe with its long-standing mission to make its search engine efficient and useful. \nIf Google were to display results from sites the Chinese government blocks, computer users would end up clicking on links that lead nowhere -- something the search engine has always tried to avoid. \n"Google has decided that in order to create the best possible search experience for our mainland China users we will not include sites whose content is not accessible," Google spokeswoman Debbie Frost said on Friday. \nOnly a "tiny fraction" of Web sites are being excluded by the Chinese news service, Frost said. \nXia said his tests indicated Google is excluding Chinese results from at least eight sites, including www.epochtimes.com and www.voanews.com. \nGoogle says the Chinese news service draws upon roughly 1,000 sites -- a broader array than in Germany, which trolls 700 sites, and Italy, which monitors about 250 sites. \n"It's probably killing them to leave some [Chinese] sites out of its index, but they have probably decided they are doing greater good by providing access to all these other sites," said Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li. \nComplaints about Google's search results aren't new. As its search engine has become more popular in recent years, Google has drawn fire for displaying some results too prominently and downplaying others. \nGoogle's pledge to "do no evil" -- trumpeted by company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin -- is spurring even greater scrutiny of company behavior. \nIf it wanted to take a political stand, Google could consider posting a disclaimer on the Chinese news site advising visitors the search results may be affected by government censorship, said analyst Li. \nA step like that, though, would run the risk of inciting the Chinese government to restrict access to Google's news service. \n"Doing no evil doesn't necessarily mean Google has to be the progressive cause for change," Li said. "[In China], they are saying, `This is the law of the land, and there is nothing we can do to change it.'"
FORECAST EXCEEDED: China’s curbs on some Taiwanese goods are unlikely to affect trade given inter-reliance in the electronics industries, a finance ministry official said Exports last month spiked 14.2 percent to US$43.32 billion, the second-highest increase on record and the 25th consecutive month of gains, driven by global demand for electronics used in high-performance computing and vehicles, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. The ministry expects the trend to sustain this month and beyond, although the pace could slow due to inventory corrections for laptops, smartphones and other consumer electronics. “The July results proved stronger than expected despite rising fears over economic uncertainty,” Department of Statistics Director-General Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜) said, adding that a high sales season in the West and stabilized COVID-19 infections in China
DISMAL OUTLOOK: A Citigroup analyst predicted firms face ‘the worst semiconductor downturn in at least a decade,’ due to inventory build and the potential of a recession Semiconductor stocks tumbled after Micron Technology Inc became the latest chipmaker to warn about slowing demand, triggering concern that the industry is heading into a painful downturn. In the US on Tuesday, the Philadelphia semiconductor index sank 4.6 percent, with all 30 members in the red, its biggest drop in about two months. In Asia, chip stocks from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) to Samsung Electronics Co, SK Hynix Inc and Tokyo Electron Ltd slumped. Investors are growing increasingly skittish as the notoriously cyclical industry is hurtling toward a prolonged slump after years of widespread shortages that led to heavy
With a tantalizing array of satay chicken, wok-fried mud crab and chilled tiger prawns, the dinner buffet at Singapore’s Grand Hyatt hotel typically sets diners back about US$70. Those on a tighter budget and with an eye on sustainability can fill a box for one-tenth of that price. Across Asia, tech start-ups are taking food otherwise destined for landfill and providing discounted meals through mobile phone apps. About one-third of food is lost or wasted every year globally, and the mountains of waste are estimated to cause 8 to 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions such as methane, the UN says.
MAJOR REVENUE CONTRIBUTOR: The company said that it expects revenue this year to increase annually due to an improved smart consumer electronics outlook Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) yesterday said revenue this quarter would be flat from last quarter, despite new phone models launched by key customers, as the market faces weakening demand. The iPhone assembler, based in New Taipei City’s Tucheng District (土城), said it is cautious about its business outlook, given mounting uncertainty regarding geopolitical tensions, soaring inflation and COVID-19 flare-ups, but still expects revenue this quarter to be higher than the NT$1.4 trillion (US$46.67 billion) it reported a year earlier. The forecast came as the company posted record second-quarter net profit of NT$33.29 billion, up 12 percent year-on-year from NT$29.78 billion.