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China: Google's China Problem

Google, the largest searching engine service in the world, has become under fire for its incompetence for providing unstable services to Chinese customers, due to the intensified online censorship, or Great Firewall of China, around the 17th anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre.

Today, as Julien Pain, Chief of Reporters Without Borders, or RSF Internet Freedom desk pointed out that Google,after two weeks of accessing difficulty, has been back to normal. However it's inaccurate to call it a blockade, since Internet users in China retrieving Google's US-Hosted Chinese version will get different results at different time and area. Rather it can be called as “disrupted connection“, as Financial Times called.

Google has offered its censored version at Google.cn, a China-hosted service registered at the Chinese government, which received much criticism from human right groups and blogosphere when launched in January. At the same time it provides option of uncensored version, to which it would redirect when typing url “www.google.com” in China. Google.cn has been available for past two weeks. However, it was estimated that only 1% of users in China applied Google.cn as their searching choice for Google service.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that they might compromise their principle, the famous “Don't Be Evil” slogan, for entering the Chinese market. Google has been evaluating whether their arrangement is identical with its company's policy and principles, while considering the possibility of retreating from China. However Reuters has reported that Google is staying in China.

On June 8th, spokesman for Foreign Ministry of China Liu Jianchao said on a routine press conference:”Chinese government welcomes companies like Google who want to operate in China's information area, but all trade and business should be conducted in comply with laws and regulations. We hope that these companies would obey Chinese law when developing business in China”. Keso, one of leading Chinese IT evangelist blogger said on his blog:

[In translation]
Indeed Liu Jianchao admitted that “it was us(Chinese government) who block Google because they did not obey the law”. But the spokesman will never told the foreigners that which law that Google has violated and which law the blockade is performed according to. The foreigners want explicit clauses in the law for them to do business, but here in China, many things are unspeakable like Zen

Andrew Lih explained Google's position from his view. He also notices some incoherent media reports explainning Sergey Brin's position. He thought that the reason that Google's much criticized because they hold high moral standard for their business conduct.

Some Chinese blogger even resort to virtual voodoo, for they fail to access Google. keepwalking have made such one (tipped by Rebecca). Herock Xia blamed that Google Chinese official blog's failure to discuss this topic.

2 comments

  • China would certainly prefer to have no foreign media (other than fashion, sports, etc.) and I see what they have done with Google as the equivalent to a warning shot across the bow. China is just letting Google know who is in charge.

  • Michelle

    How is google breaking the law by letting Chinese people access the truth?

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