September 19, 2012 - 11:08 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Baidu, China’s largest search engine, and Tencent Holdings, the nation’s biggest Internet company, placed patriotic banners on their websites amid the worst diplomatic crisis with Japan since 2005, according to Bloomberg.
The homepage for Baidu’s search engine featured an animated illustration of the islands, known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese, with a Chinese flag flying atop. Tencent posted a banner on its QQ website commemorating today’s 81st anniversary of the Mukden Incident, which led to Japan’s invasion of China.
China and Japan’s clash over the islands is putting at risk a trade relationship that’s tripled in the past decade to more than $340 billion. Tensions escalated after Japan’s cabinet approved the purchase of the islands for 2.05 billion yen ($26 million) on Sept. 11. China, which has said it doesn’t accept the move, responded by sending government vessels to the area.
Clicking the image above Baidu’s search box takes users to a separate webpage with the message “The Diaoyu Islands belong to China!” and an enlarged image of China’s flag over the islands. Users can then click to plant a Chinese flag on the islands to show their support. A counter on the page shows more than 2 million electronic flags have been planted.
“The intended statement is one of rational patriotism, and a renunciation of violence and extremism,” said Kaiser Kuo, a Beijing-based spokesman for Baidu. “Planting a digital flag is a far better alternative than throwing stones or eggs or smashing cars.”