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Google.cn in China

Google, the online web search giant, launched its Chinese version of services with new domain, Google.cn. Formerly this domain would be redirected to http://www.google.com/ig?hl=zh-CN, a Chinese version of Google Search based in US. This services, according to various sources(1,2,3), has censored many content and websites in comply with Chinese government and its law.

The Google.cn was launched with little public promotion. It provides just few services on the main page like web and picture searching, and news, without email service like Gmail and Blog Hosting Service like Blogger. Right in the bottom of the search box, it has a link which demonstrate the website and domain was registered in Beijing,China and the serial number is “Beijing ICP050124″. If you searchs with some sensitively key words like 1989(Background info via Wikipedia), the website will show no results that was “offensive”. Under the search results, it also has a statement in Chinese, means “Some Search Results was not displayed according to local laws and policies”(Screenshot).

According to Sina Tech(Link in Chinese), Google in a public statement, says:”Eliminating search results was not consistent with our policy, but it's a violation to our principles to provide no information”. They also said they did not intend to provide email and blogging services.

Chinese BloggerCathayan said:”Obviously Google was in conflict between ideal and reality, so the reason why it did not provide many services to Chinese customers is that they are still unsure about what they can do.”

GFans.org, website by Google Fans in China, said “Yes, it's a shame, but not for Google”.

9 comments

  • […] GOOGLE in China. Good and bad. […]

  • Thanks, Frank, for the update.

  • You are welcomed, Joel

  • Hi,

    We had no problems with the Chinese State censors when they asked us to submit our enormously popular posts to them for scrutiny so they could decide whether they were appropriate for the rest of the web-community in China to read. Any suggestions they made were always considered and – in some cases – actually improved the journalistic quality of our content. Draw your own conclusions:

    http://rswipe.blogspot.com/2006/01/swipe-show-first-western-blog-to-break.html

    Cheers,

    Bob

  • Nic Fulton

    Do you know if this filtering is true for IP addresses that appear to arrive at the site from outside of China? I searched for June 4th and the first result was title “JUNE 4th MASSACRE…” This is on a site called UglyChinese.org. Further down the page a 64memo and others. If they are filtering it is clearly only very offensive stuff. I am no expert on the events, so perhaps the offensive stuff is some other truth (or lies).

  • Annis

    Yeah, it’s a shame, but it was the best that Googl could do.
    I hope that Goole could gradually eliminate that kind of censorship as Chinese people are trying to democratize China more

  • Hi Nic:
    The censor machine was simply not very sensitive at English lauguage pages.
    So if you are searching for “June4th” in Chinese(or “六四” you can try this word by copying the characters into the search box), you will almost see no infomation that the govenment don’t permit.

  • Annis: I don’t really think this was the best thing they could do. As Rebecca argues at RConversation:::>>>

    If Google wants to show that it is truly serious about doing the right thing in China it should:

    1. Make its “block list” public, and disclose the laws, regulations, and procedures that have required these specific words and URL’s to be blocked. We’re respecting Chinese law, right? So name the laws you’re respecting and how you’re respecting them.

    2. Fight to prevent Google.com from being blocked, and if it does become completely blocked, consider discontinuing Google.cn.

    3. If the Chinese government makes unreasonable requests for search result data, do the same thing you did to the U.S. Department of Justice: just say no. Othewise, you’ll be sending the message that you respect U.S. users much more than you respect Chinese users.

    4. Establish clear procedures for your local China-based staff: if a government official calls your Beijing office demanding particular information be blocked or handed over, the request must adhere to strict company protocols and procedures so that senior management can rest assured that the request was indeed made and handled in accordance with laws that actually apply to the situation at hand, and whether the information in question even falls under the jusisdiction of those laws – and that any action taken by the company was done in keeping with the company’s code of conduct. It’s pretty common for low and mid-ranking officials in China to make orders on their own initiative to protect their own personal interests or interests of their friends (or people who bribe them) – these are often orders that don’t actually reflect central policy. Major multinational companies should not be rolling over and playing dead every time some cop picks up the phone and says “boo.” Right now most information technology companies operating in China don’t even defend the rights and interests of their users to the full extent of Chinese law.

    http://rconversation.blogs.com/rconversation/2006/01/legislating_efr.html

  • […] Google.cn in China […]

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