Microsoft denies aiding Chinese case against journalist

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday denied providing Chinese authoritieswith information that led to the arrest of a Chinese journalist oncharges of incitement to subversion.

Reports emerged Tuesday that journalist Li Yuanlong was chargedlast month for using a Hotmail account to post articles on anoverseas Web site under a pseudonym.

“Microsoft did not assist the Chinese government in this action,nor have we shared any of this customer’s personal information withthe Chinese authorities,” Microsoft spokeswoman Charlene Chian saidin an e-mail.

Li has been under arrest since September last year, but the newsthat he used a Hotmail account to post his articles came out onlythis week.

U.S. Internet companies, including Microsoft’s MSN division, havefaced criticism over their operations in China.

Earlier this year, Microsoft acknowledged censoring the blog ofZhao Jing, a Chinese journalist, at the request of Chineseauthorities. As a result of that case, the company amended itspolicy to say it would remove blogs only after receiving a formallegal order.

Yahoo Inc., meanwhile, was widely condemned for handing overinformation to Chinese authorities about two Yahoo e-mail accounts.The information was used to jail the owners of the email accountson charges of revealing state secrets and incitement to subversion.