A U.S. judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to punish Chinese Internet company Baidu for blocking pro-democracy works on its search engine, with one legal expert stating that the case was more of a publicity stunt than an actual legal challenge to China's online censorship.
It is well known that China regularly censors anti-government content on the Internet, with local companies such as Baidu required to comply. But the U.S. lawsuit, filed two years ago by eight pro-democracy activists, claimed that both the company and the Chinese government had violated New York's free speech laws. This was because Baidu's censorship extended to users accessing the site from New York, the lawsuit argued.
On Monday, however, Baidu won dismissal of the case after Judge Jesse Furman of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said that the company had not been properly served the court document papers. China, invoking an international treaty, refused to comply with serving the court papers, stating that it would "infringe its sovereignty or security."