Google Folds Up Like A Cheap Suit And Starts Redirecting Traffic Through China

Not that I’m shocked by this by any means, but it looks like Google has backed down from its stance of redirecting Chinese traffic through Hong Kong in the interest of providing uncensored search results.  The Google Blog is now reporting the following:

We currently automatically redirect everyone using Google.cn to Google.com.hk, our Hong Kong search engine. This redirect, which offers unfiltered search in simplified Chinese, has been working well for our users and for Google. However, it’s clear from conversations we have had with Chinese government officials that they find the redirect unacceptable—and that if we continue redirecting users our Internet Content Provider license will not be renewed (it’s up for renewal on June 30). Without an ICP license, we can’t operate a commercial website like Google.cn—so Google would effectively go dark in China.

And:

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.

Clearly the almighty dollar outweighs making a stand for what is right and just in the universe. It’s sad to see Google back down like this, but like I said, I’m not surprised.

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