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China: Google.cn migrated to Hong Kong

Finally Google has decided to leave China. Soon after the announcement, Google stopped censoring the search result of google.cn by redirecting the site to google.com.hk. In Google's official blog, David Drummond, the corporate's chief legal officer explains that its decision is due to the Chinese government's “non-negotiable legal requirement” in self-censorship. However, Google's R&D work will continue to stay in China.

On the other hand, China (via Xinhua) says Google has “violated its written promise” and is totally wrong” by stopping censorship.

Meanwhile, google.com.hk is subjected to keyword filtering by the China Great Fire Wall, while its domain is still accessible in China. Rebecca MacKinnon points out that the ball is now on the Chinese government's court:

1) Whether they will block all of google.com.hk, which until now has not been blocked. If they are smart they will just leave the situation as is and stop drawing media attention to their censorship practices.

2) Whether they allow Google to retain its ad sales and R&D businesses in China. 

Even though there were reports forecasting Google's departure, many Chinese netizens still feel sorry about the news. Jason Ng from Kenengba interviewed Chinese twitterers on their apprehensions regarding Google's decision and received more than 100 responses. Here is a summary of his findings:

有人担心百度会一家独大,搜索结果里的虚假信息会日益增多;很多人担心,他们喜爱的Google服务,比如Gmail, Reader, Calendar将无法使用;有站长担心Adsense项目会被搁置;也有人认为,这将使得中国互联网倒退10年。

在这些草根网民的眼里,Google退出中国并不如政府的某些官员所说–“中国互联网照样健康发展”。Google为互联网带来的改变,绝不仅仅是创造了最好的搜索引擎。
Google是一家值得所有互联网从业者敬佩的公司,它总是无时无刻给互联网带来新的惊喜以及新的模式。在一定程度上,Google代表着免费互联网的趋势,代表着技术的前进方向,代表着网络中立的理念。这是Google的三个代表。

Some are worried that Baidu will monopolized the search engine market and there are more and more fake information in search results; Many are worried that they cannot access Google's service, such as Gmail, Reader, Calendar anymore; Some webmasters are worried that Adsense will no longer function; Some believe that it is a 10-year setback for the development of Chinese Internet.

Among the grassroots internet users, the retreat of Google is far away from what the Chinese government officials’ description that “Chinese internet will continue to grow healthily”. The Change that Google brings to the Internet is not limited to the creation of best search engine.

Google is a most well-respected Internet company. It keeps introducing new innovation and surprise to the Internet. To some extent, Google represents the trend in free Internet service, the direction of technological innovation and net neutrality stand. This is Google's three representations.

The blogger foresees an government launched propaganda campaign against Google in China:

1、新华网、人民网、中国网等“官方新闻网站”会发布很多Google的负面社论
2、网易、新浪、搜狐等新闻网站关于Google的正面新闻一律不予刊登
3、网易、新浪、搜狐等新闻网站关于Google的新闻跟帖里肯定是一边倒支持政府的

1. The editorials of official websites like xinhua.com, people.com.cn, china.com and etc. will condemn Google.
2. News portal websites like 163, sina, sohu and etc. will not be allowed to publish pro-Google opinions.
3. Comments in news related to Google will be overwhelmingly pro-government.

However, many internet users still decided to show their support to Google by sending flowers to Google Headquarter in Beijing: Gaoming1916 interviewed a number of supporters:

Moreover, around 100 of Google supporters gathered at Google China Headquarter tonight for a candle night vigil. However, they were stopped by security guards and polices:

@yanglicai: 一辆警用面包车停下,6,7个警察下车,说"请离开,不要聚集"。人群齐唱"嗷,可爱地草尼妈"

@yanglicai: A police van stopped and 6 -7 polices asked the crowd to disperse. But they response by singing “O lovely Grass Mud Horse”

@tengbiao: 警察驱赶,很多便衣。我看到声援者百人。

@tengbiao: Polices are dispersing the crowd, there are many undercovers and there are around 100 people on the spot.

Twitter is a most important platform for uncensored opinions on Google departure and twitter users share their views with hashtag #googlecn. Below is a selection of comments:

@roseluqiu: 谷歌走了,在我看来只不过是修正之前的错误,遵守不做恶的承诺。其它的公司,既然没有这样的价值观和原则,所以也不必苛求他们。但是因为自己要求不高而批评google,那就是非常卑鄙的行为了。在google问题上,看到了很多小人。 #googlecn

@roseluqiu: Google has left. For me it's decision is to correct a mistake that it had once made and to keep its promise on “don't be evil”. We don't need to expect other companies which don't believe in the same value to follow Google's example. But they cannot criticize Google for their own lack of belief. Such kind of behavior is very immoral. I see many crooked minds regarding Google issue. #googlecn

geekinmedia 央视新闻频道在播谷歌,果然如我所料,把谷歌说成一个传播淫秽内容的黄色网站了

@geekinmedia CCTV is now talking about Google. As I expected, it depicts Google as a vulgar and indecent website.

@laokalaoka 以前买奶粉去香港,现在上GOOGLE去香港,以后打预防针,也可以去香港吗?

@laokalaoka We used to buy baby powder milk in Hong Kong. Now we have to use Hong Kong server for visiting Google, can we also have our vaccines in Hong Kong?

@zhanghui8964 人如草,民如屁,官如匪,党如寇。–谷哥,你先走吧,这地方不适合你,但我们会在不久的将来热烈地迎接你有尊严地归来。 #googlecn

@zhanghui8964 Human is like grass and people's voices are treated as farts. Government officials are thugs and party is like goon. Google, please leave first, this is not a place for you. But we will welcome your respectable return in the near future. #googlecn

@heicailiao: For HKers like myself, Google's move shows how valuable HK's autonomy is. We must not budge, not an inch.

@SecretaryZhang 真理部指令:请各地清理借此事攻击党、国家、政府部门、互联网相关政策的文字、图片和音视频等。请各地清理声援谷歌、给谷歌献花、挽留谷歌、为谷歌叫好等跟政府政策唱反调的文字、图片和音视频等。请各地主管近期派专人监控谷歌相关信息,如有群体性事件信息。 #GoogleCN

@SecretaryZhang Notice from the propaganda department: please clean all texts, images and videos that criticized the party, the state, government departments and Internet policies. Please clean up all tests, images, videos and audio contents that are at odd with government's stand, such as supporting Google, sending flowers to Google or asking Google to stay. Please assign a specific person to monitor information regarding Google, in particular information related with mass action.

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