In the first case of its kind, a man in Shenzhen, Guangdong province sued China Unicom, China’s second-biggest telecom operator, for failing to provide access to Google in recent months as its services have been blocked in the country.
The 25-year-old plaintiff, Wang Long, filed the lawsuit in a local Futian district court after he was no longer able to get on to Google and Gmail, arguing that the lack of access was a breach of contract.
“[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.
Wang’s lawsuit has gained online attention from netizens who’ve applauded his efforts.
Google moved its servers from mainland China to Hong Kong in 2010 when the company refused to comply with search censorship. In June this year, China users also lost access to google.com.hk
The court heard the case on Thursday and hasn’t yet reached a verdict. Global Times cited a Beijing-based expert who believes Wang’s lawsuit will prove fruitless.
“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 [censorship].”
[Photo Credit: Cliffano]