Google Redirects Google.cn Through Hong Kong To Avoid Censors…. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

You might recall that I posted about Google announcing that they could be pulling out of China today. Well, they did. Sort of. The search engine giant decided to route all of it’s Google.cn to Hong Kong. That way Google users in in China get uncensored search results. That’s guaranteed to really annoy someone in the Chinese government. Here’s what Google had to say about this via their blog:

Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.

I’m guessing that it won’t take long before we find out what China does about this, but it’s a brilliant strategy by Google. If China does nothing, they win and can spin that as a victory for truth, freedom, and the American way. If China shuts down Google, then Google still wins as they can say that they didn’t leave China but were forced out by the Chinese. Thus they are fighting for truth, freedom, and the American way.

The question is, which way will this go.

One Response to “Google Redirects Google.cn Through Hong Kong To Avoid Censors…. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?”

  1. I am a foreigner stationed in China. For all these years I had happily been able to use search at Google.com (NOT .cn) – as it had never been banned/censored in China. There had always been an option “Google in English” which was linked to Google.com, and voila – you were out of restricted area.

    Not any more. From today I am being forcefully redirected to google.com.hk which I don’t want to use.
    Trying to get through to http://www.google.com/ncr does not help: I am turned back to .hk.
    Not that is is better or worse, I just DO NOT WANT TO BE REDIRECTED ANYWHERE.

    Guys at Google now did exactly what the Chinese authorities didn’t: removed my freedom to search for the information where I choose to.

    Such a disgrace.

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