Google On China: Yeah, So Apparently The Gov't Doesn't Like Us Redirecting All Traffic To Hong Kong

from the shocker dept

This can't really come as a surprise, but it appears that Google's plan to redirect all traffic from China to its Hong Kong site, in response to China's censorship... and hack attack isn't making China very happy. The country has apparently threatened to take away Google's Internet Content Provider license... so, now it appears that Google is taking a step back into China in an attempt to keep the license. Google's argument (effectively the same one it had when it first went into China despite concerns about censorship there) is that having some access in China is better than no access for people there:
Without an ICP license, we can't operate a commercial website like Google.cn--so Google would effectively go dark in China.

That's a prospect dreaded by many of our Chinese users, who have been vocal about their desire to keep Google.cn alive. We have therefore been looking at possible alternatives, and instead of automatically redirecting all our users, we have started taking a small percentage of them to a landing page on Google.cn that links to Google.com.hk--where users can conduct web search or continue to use Google.cn services like music and text translate, which we can provide locally without filtering. This approach ensures we stay true to our commitment not to censor our results on Google.cn and gives users access to all of our services from one page.

Over the next few days we'll end the redirect entirely, taking all our Chinese users to our new landing page--and today we re-submitted our ICP license renewal application based on this approach.
I'm not sure this will actually satisfy the Chinese government, or do Google much good either. It seems like taking a bit of a step backwards after insisting that it would stay out of China if China continued to require it to censor results.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 3:54am

    It is better to be a part of a corrupt system and make money than to not take part at all and make no money at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 4:50am

    Will China stop its hack attacks upon Google?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Radjin, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 5:10am

    It's about money not not being evil

    Google is not about helping people, it's about money. It was pretty oblivious that they will do anything to stay in China, a huge market; even backtrack on there strong words not to censor. They just thought they were strong enough to push China.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    mkam (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 5:16am

    Re: It's about money not not being evil

    Trolling much?

    Yep Google makes money. Did you mean obvious or 'oblivious' that Google would do anything to stay in China? What are they censoring? Did you RTFA? They are keeping the services that they don't have to censor (in China) and pushing the rest to the Hong Kong servers. Are you making a point or just arguing out of your nether regions?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    bob, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 5:19am

    don't be evil

    Now that Google is a public company and investors want to make money. Google will go back to China the way the Chinese Govt wants them to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Jimr (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 6:01am

    I think Google has started to clean up and patch security holes. I suspect Google sufficient confident to step back into a market where the government will do all that it can to steal their Google's knowledge and pass it to its own Government Owned endeavors (and search engines).

    The big thing is Google now knows that China is going to be a security game and they will have to do their due diligence on security when working with China.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 6:02am

    Attacking someone on flip flopping might be a sound attack against a politician... but against a corporation out to make money it seems kind of off. (somehow I feel someone will call me a troll for this or attack me for this comment... meh)

    It does seem that Google is making an effort to push the envelope here. It may just amount to a token effort but they are not just rolling over like many companies do and will do to get even a slice of China.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 6:40am

    as previously discussed, google figured it out fast: china can live without google, but google suffers greatly without china. quite simply, google is not willing to stand on principal and let both the fastest expanding and the potentially largest internet marketplace slip away from them.

    so once again, google is willing to do a little more evil for the bottom line. welcome to the slippery slope.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Stuart, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 7:00am

    Re: It's about money not not being evil

    Umm. Actually Google in my experience has always tried to make money and make it product (You and Me) happy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    newsjunkie, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 7:47am

    What is the status of http://www.google.com in China?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 8:45am

    Re:

    so mike, would you care to admit you were wrong on this one?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re:

    so mike, would you care to admit you were wrong on this one?


    Wrong how? I never suggested that I believe Google's rationale here or that it would truly stay out of China. In fact, I suggested in my post that there was a lot more going on behind the scenes. So, which part did I get "wrong"?

    I had no real opinion on whether or not Google would actually stay out or not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Jim O (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    About 4 months ago it was an auto redirect to google.cn

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    DNE, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 10:29am

    Do No Evil...

    ... to a public company means "do nothing to reduce profits". That's just good old capitalism, so what's the problem?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    mhenriday (profile), Jun 30th, 2010 @ 12:06pm

    Shaun Rein has posted

    a perceptive - dare I say wise ? - commentary on this issue over at Forbes (http://preview.tinyurl.com/2vbqw8u )....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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