Shenzhen man sues ISP for Google block

By Jiang Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2014-9-4 23:58:01

A local court in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province Thursday heard the first-ever lawsuit in which a local resident sued China Unicom, the country's second-largest telecom operator, for failing to provide access to Google services during a months-long block.

Wang Long, the 25-year-old plaintiff, told the Global Times on Thursday that he filed the lawsuit in a local court in Shenzhen's Futian district after he lost access to Google and Gmail.

"[I and China Unicom] have a contractual relation. They should offer me telecom services, yet they still failed to provide access [to these sites and services]. They should be held responsible for this failure," Wang said.

 He added that he had filed no suit beyond the one tied in with the contractual dispute.

Wang's posts on Sina Weibo about the "first Google blockage-related lawsuit" caught the attention of Net users, with many praising Wang for taking action against a blockage that took effect in June.

Google pulled out from the Chinese mainland and moved its servers to Hong Kong in 2010 after it refused to comply with China's regulations requiring it to filter search terms.

After four years, however, Chinese Internet users lost access to the alternative in June.

China Unicom was unavailable for comment as of press time, but it admitted the failure to provide access in court, according to Wang.

The court did not give any judgment on Thursday but a final rule should be handed down before October.

A Beijing-based expert in cyber security, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times that Wang has sued the wrong party.

"China Unicom has nothing to do with the failure. It is Google that should be blamed, since it does not operate its business in China. I call on companies like Google or Twitter or Facebook to offer services in China and accept [proper supervision]."

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