Update: Google stops censoring in China
The move had been expected
Computerworld - Google has stopped censoring results in China, acting on a decision it made in January.
On Monday, Google stopped censoring Google Search, Google News and Google Images on Google.cn, according to a blog post from Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.
"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," he wrote.
As expected, the Chinese government didn't entertain allowing Google to continue operating an uncensored Google.cn. The Hong Kong work-around is "entirely legal," he said.
"We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services," Drummond wrote.
Google has set up a Web page where people can monitor the status of its services in China.
It's highly unlikely that the Chinese government will look the other way and allow access to Google.cn, said Joseph Fewsmith, a Boston University professor or international relations and political science.
"I'm surprised Google thought there was room to negotiate on that [censorship] point," Fewsmith said.
Google continues research and development work in China and maintains a sales team in the country. "All these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and ... none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them," Drummond wrote.
On Jan. 12, Google shocked the world when it announced that it would stop censoring results in its China search engine, Google.cn, because the company had been the victim of hacking attacks originating in China.
Through the attacks, hackers stole Google intellectual property and broke into the Gmail accounts of China human rights activists, the company said. At the time, Google said it would seek talks with the Chinese government over ways it could operate Google.cn legally without censoring, although experts said the chances of that happening were at best slim.
If no middle ground was reached, Google said it would be willing to close Google.cn and shutter its offices and operations in China, a drastic move considering China is one of the biggest and fastest-growing Internet and telecommunications markets in the world.
Google has declined repeated requests in recent weeks to discuss its China impasse, and it is not clear how much present and future revenue the company would forgo by exiting China's search market. Analysys International expects China's search market to reach 10 billion yuan ($1.46 billion) this year.
The impact on Google would be larger if it also stops providing online services like Gmail and Picasa, which it monetizes via online advertising, and its Android mobile operating system, which it licenses to mobile carriers, handset makers and PC vendors.
- Google rolls out new +Post 'social' ads
- Google details its Project Ara modular smartphone
- Google pushes I/O registration deadline back to April 15
- Google looks to push Glass into the enterprise
- Google touts extra encryption for Gmail, remains mum on other apps
- Google patches $310K worth of Chrome, Chrome OS bugs
- Google slashes Drive prices by up to 80%
- Chrome users attack Google for zapping unsanctioned Windows add-ons
- Google postpones add-on 'kill switch' for Chrome on Windows
- Google yanks option to restore Chrome's old-style new tab page, riles users all over again
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All E-business White Papers | Webcasts