Google Taking New Approach to China

Christine Nyholm's picture

Google announced on Monday, March 22, 2010 that they have stopped censoring search results in China. There has been speculation that Google would pull out of China entirely, but instead they are rerouting Chinese users to an uncensored version based in Hong Kong.

David Drummond, Senior Vice President of Google Corporate Development posted the news on the Google Blog. In his blog post, Drummond announced that Google and more than 20 other companies had been victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China. The persistent attempts to limit free speech, combined with the cyber attacks, led Google management to conclude that they could not continue to censor results on Google.cn.

Google users in mainland China will be redirected to Hong Kong, where users receive a simplified, uncensored Chinese service from Google.com.hk.

Drummond stated in the blog, '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.'

Drummond went on to state that Google understands that China may block user access anytime and that Google will be carefully monitoring the situation.

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