Skype, a voice over IP (VoIP) provider backed by eBay, has acknowledged that its Chinese partner company, Tom Online, censored text messages, defending the actions as a necessary part of doing business in the county, the Financial Times reports.Skype\u2019s chief executive, Niklas Zennstrom, told the Financial Times that its joint venture partner in China was only complying with local laws when it censored customers\u2019 text messages. \u201cTom had implemented a text filter, which is what everyone else in that market is doing,\u201d Zennstrom told the Financial Times. \u201cThose are the regulations.\u201dChina represents one of Skype\u2019s top three markets along with Germany and the United States, based on the countries\u2019 numbers of active users of its free Internet-based telephone offering, according to the Financial Times.Skype is one of the latest companies to step into the censorship debate that has already seen firms such as Microsoft and Yahoo draw fire from critics and rights activists regarding their business practices in China.Zennstrom dismissed critics\u2019 concerns regarding the filtering of text messages, and stressed that this censorship has not subjected users of the Skype or Tom Online services to undue risk, the Financial Times reports.\u201cI may like or not like the laws and regulations to operate businesses in the U.K. or Germany or the U.S., but if I choose to do business there, I choose to comply with those laws and regulations,\u201d Zennstrom told the Financial Times. \u201cI can try to lobby to change them, but I need to comply with them. China in that way is not different.\u201dFor related coverage, read Skype Scoops Up VoIP Tech Cos..Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.