Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Off topic: Google: "today we stopped censoring our search services" in China

Company's official announcement. (A reaction from Chinese side later in this post) [via Boing Boing]

"earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk."

"we are well aware that it [Chinese government] could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China."

"In terms of Google's wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there".

This Xinhua report on the subject has some commentary on page 2 from other side of the fence (page 1 is just no-content babble):

  1. 'Google arrived in China in 2005; it got its Chinese name "Gu Ge" and Chinese domain name Google.cn the next year. Google then made some compromises to adjust to a different business environment. However, it tried to change the rules after it had gained an "irreplaceable" position in China, i.e. demanding the Chinese government change Internet regulations at their request.'
  2. 'Google has challenged the Chinese government's sovereignty by demanding the government accept Google’s presumed definition on "opening up".'
Related: Google/China in fiction.