At a conference in Houston on Thursday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke critically of Google’s recent decision to stop censoring its search results in China. Paraphrasing some of Ballmer’s statements, Forbes says Ballmer called it an “irrational business decision” on Google’s part.
Ballmer suggested that Google’s decision to no longer filter out internet searches objectionable to the Chinese government was an irrational business decision. After all, Ballmer said, the U.S. imports oil from Saudi Arabia despite the censorship that goes on in that country.
“The U.S. is the most extreme when it comes to free speech,” said Ballmer, noting however that even the U.S. bans child pornography, while France bans internet access to Nazi imagery.
Forbes says Ballmer made the statements during the Q&A session after a speech to oil company executives. Ballmer also said that Bing will comply with requests to censor its search results “if the Chinese government gives us proper legal notice.”