Yahoo defends stand on China censorship

One of the co-founders of Internet giant Yahoo defended the Internet search engine's cooperation with the Chinese government's censorship of the Web, saying it was necessary to reach out to new users, an AFP report said.

"We have to think of a way in which the Internet phenomenon can continue to grow and reach more users and at the same time comply with local laws. In places like China and other places that have different political regimes, I think you'll see them trying to react and potentially regulate these kinds of activities," AFP quoted Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang as saying.

Earlier reports said US lawmakers had accused tech giants Yahoo, Google and Microsoft of helping sustain the so-called "Great Firewall of China," which blocked searches of terms considered to be sensitive, such as "free speech" and "human rights."

Yahoo came under fire last year for supplying information to the Chinese government, which led to the arrest of Chinese journalist Shi Tao.

Google also caused an uproar when it launched in January because it agreed to abide by Chinese Internet regulations and censor Web sites and content banned by the nation's propaganda chiefs, the report said.