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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 17:29 GMT
Microsoft restates China policy
Cyber cafe in China, AP
The Chinese government monitors what people do and say online
Microsoft has restated its position on China following comments by one of its senior legal staff.

Earlier this week, Microsoft senior counsel Fred Tipson said concerns about repression in China might make it reconsider its presence there.

Mr Tipson was speaking at the first Internet Governance Forum held in Athens which debated many issues of internet policy.

But now Microsoft has said it is "committed" to staying in the country.

Net gains

Mr Tipson told the Athens conference: "We have to decide if the persecuting of bloggers reaches a point that it's unacceptable to do business there."

The Internet Governance Forum is a UN-backed body that aims to be a global talking shop for thorny net issues. The four-day conference brought together more than 1500 delegates to talk about net policy and how governments, companies and citizens are affected by it.

One topic on the conference agenda was human rights and the ways that some nations, such as China, restrict access to the net or monitor what people do online.

Following Mr Tipson's comments, Microsoft issued a statement which said: "Microsoft is not considering the suspension of the company's internet services in China."

It continued: "On the contrary, it is committed to continuing to offer services and communications tools in China as it believes it is better for customers that Microsoft is present in global markets with these tools and services as this can not only promote greater communication, but can also help to foster economic opportunity and social collaboration."

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