Following the closure early this morning of Google's mainland China search engine Google.cn, which now redirects to its Hong Kong-based counterpart, supporters of the company have throughout the day descended once again on Google's Beijing headquarters to pay their last respects.
As Google's prepares to (partially) depart, a number of serious questions remaining unanswered, both for the Chinese government and, as noted by Bill Bishop at DigiCha, Google itself.
With Google fans (and plainclothes secret police) gathering around the Google sign, netizen Gao Ming took the opportunity to interview several of the former on which of Google's localized services they will miss.
[update: Gao Ming's video has been removed from Youku (see above), but a backup copy (below) has been stored at dotSUB] [update2: someone has uploaded a recording of Beijing's Google fans being asked by police to disperse, followed by their singing of the Grass Mud Horse song]
Later in the evening, the crowd of reportedly [zh] a hundred supporters began singing the song of the Grass Mud Horse, until police made them disperse. Under the Jacaranda Tree blogger C.A. Yeung bridge-tweeted around that time that “[m]ore than 10 Chinese human rights activitists & many more netizens are gathering at Google China headquarter.”
At just after 10pm, one of those, lawyer Teng Biao, tweeted that the crowd had begun to dwindle; a photo from Jason Ng shows that the flowers and cups which had been left on the Google sign had been removed.
The Tea Party should make the song of Grass Mud Horse their official anthem :)
I am so sorry to see our brothers and sisters in China once again frustrated in their attempts to have access to the world via internet. I would like to take a moment to also congratulate Google for showing some compassion and self respect without the usual worry about the bottom line that seems to corrupt so many large corporations. I might be accused of being a cynic but this time I am happy to be proven wrong. Grats GOOGLE!