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Google shuts down China search

Redirecting users in China to uncensored Google Hong Kong version

Technology trends and news by Chris Caceres
March 22, 2010 | Comments (2)
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/e84

Google made a bold approach to its search services in China on Monday.  The company said it's shut down Google.cn and redirecting those users to Google.com.hk, where it is offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese.  

The move on Google's end comes as a response to cyber attacks originating from China on January 12.  Google said it uncovered evidence suggesting Gmail accounts of several dozen human rights activists connected with China were being accessed by third parties.  

Google commented on its blog,

"we want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we've faced—it's entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China."

The search giant is well aware the Chinese government could eventually block access to Google.com.hk.  Google said it would be monitoring access issues on a new Webpage it would update regularly every day, so users could see what services are still available in China.  Google's Youtube and Blogger are both blocked in China already.

Google said it would continue its R&D work in China and maintain a sales presence there, but depending on whether China blocks access to Google.com.hk, the size sales team could be scaled down.  It also made clear the decision to redirect users to the uncensored Google site was made by executives in the US, probably to prevent any sort of government retribution against Chinese Google employees.  

Some other sites that have been blocked in China include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and many more.

Comments

Bill Keck
Bill Keck, on March 22, 2010

They're walking a tightrope on that one. Not sure how they can have their cake and eat it too.


Comment_gbg
NQ Logic, on March 22, 2010

A month ago, NQ Logic predicted that Google will move out of China. Today saw Google officially transplanting its Chinese base to its Hong Kong facilities. This value clash between an Internet company and an information-controlled country will continue to be present at every Multinational Technology executive board, and with Google’s disclosure, other U.S. technology companies will have a harder time to explain why they are still doing business in China.

For a better and complete understanding of the situation, NQ Logic encourages you to read "Google Vs. China" at www.nqlogic.com


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