In its battle with China, Google takes a step back
In a bid to placate Chinese officials, Google revamps its site in China
Computerworld - Google Inc. may not be throwing in the towel in its battle with the Chinese government, but it certainly took a step back this week.
Google announced late Monday that it will no longer automatically redirect search traffic from China to its Hong Kong search engine. The announcement came just two days before Google's license to operate in China must be renewed.
The company hopes the move placates Chinese officials, who had threatened to revoke Google's Internet Content Provider (ICP) license if the company did not stop redirecting search requests from Chinese users.
In a blog post last night, Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said the company plans to complete the shift in direction over the next few days.
Instead of the automatic redirect, the Google.cn site now shows an image of the Google search bar above a link that says, "We've moved to Google.com.hk. Please visit our new Web site." Clicking on the logo or text takes users to the Hong Kong Web site.
It should be clear on Wednesday whether the Chinese government accepts the compromise move and will renew Google's license to continue doing business in the country.
Without a license, Google would go dark in China.
Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group, said that while Google's move amounts to caving in to Chinese officials, the company's executives had few alternatives if they wanted to continue doing business in China.
"They really have no choice if they want to stay in that region," Enderle said. "That was the problem of taking a position the company could not sustain. You don't fight governments. Google had a choice: Capitulate or leave. They capitulated."
Google in January had threatened to halt its operations in China after contending that an attack on its network from inside China aimed to expose the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. At the same time, Google said it was reconsidering its willingness to censor the search results of users in China as required by the government.
After several months of negotiations with Chinese officials, Google announced in March that it had stopped censoring search results in the country. In a blog post at the time, Drummond said the company had stopped censoring Google Search, Google News and Google Images on the Chinese Google.cn site. Users in China were redirected to the Hong Kong-based Google.com.hk site, where they were given uncensored search results in simplified Chinese.
- 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
- Google's 3D tech could be boon to Glass, robots and virtual reality
- Google bots are coming!
- Antitrust deal leaves Google unscathed
- Google agrees to give equal prominence to rivals' services to settle EU antitrust case
- Lenovo-Moto deal's impact on Apple? Zip
- With Motorola sold, Google can focus on robots, Glass and smart homes
- Google is developing a smart contact lens
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Internet Search White Papers | Webcasts