Blown To Bits

Google “leaves China” … for Hong Kong

Monday, March 22nd, 2010 by Harry Lewis

Finally closing the loop on its refusal to self-censor its search results in mainland China, Google has flipped the switch. The site is now being served, uncensored, from Hong Kong. In principle, that is, they are providing uncensored search inside China, since Hong Kong is part of China. Google has also put up a page, which it updates every day, indicating which Google services are available, blocked, or partially blocked from the mainland.

The Chinese government has responded with anger and contempt, claiming (for reasons that are a bit unclear to me) a double-cross on Google’s part.

See Rebecca MacKinnon’s blog for the most cogent summary of the present state of affairs and the choices now available to the Chinese government. She argues, correctly I think, that the government’s bluster is only going to make the Chinese people more aware of what they are missing, causing many more to learn about circumvention tools. She quotes a tweet coming out of China summarizing the irony beautifully: “One Google, On World; One China, No Google.”

3 Responses to “Google “leaves China” … for Hong Kong”

  1. Rosemary Han Says:

    Understandably, this move is an avid attempt for Google to uphold its principles, but what prevents China from completely blocking the Hong Kong search service in China? Isn’t some Google better than no Google? I find this development perplexing from a business standpoint. Baidu already dominates approximately 60% of the market; by pulling out of mainland China, Google’s rendering itself even less relevant. Unless of course, it draws even more mainland users with its non-censorship, which will then inevitably elicit scrutinization from the government and risk being shut down. I read through several Chinese blogs/forums and was surprised to find that a majority of the comments revealed a sense of indifference toward Google’s leaving mainland China. Perhaps there is also an element of nationalism associated with Baidu and domestic search engines that even trumps uncensored freedom.

  2. wholesale lingerie Says:

    GOOGLE gone! Baidu laugh! Individual owners are stupid! Personal website after the road is estimated that more difficult to go. . .

  3. David MacColeman Says:

    Good for Google. If China wants to be a world power, then they have to get on board or jump over board. They have a army of hackers that do nothing but confuse the internet. The U.S. is now going to main frame servers, due in part to hackers here and abroad. China, hacks our security networks, our electrical grids, state government sites. This is terrrorism as it disrupts our society and forces the U.S. and other democracies to spend precious resources that could be used to help those nations that are struggling for freedom.