The Official Google Blog came out with their new actions in regards to access to all things Google in mainland China.
They have even created a page that shows what services are currently being blocked in China and promise to keep it updated so people can see as other services are shutdown.
The move is to redirect anyone coming to Google.cn to Google.com.hk where they can get access to non censored content. Something tells me this service may soon be added to the banned list – so the battle lines appear to be drawn.
David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer stated on the 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.”
Simply redirecting a search query to another country is not what China had in mind, in my opinion.
True there are now no search results specific to China – but the search queries will give answers that the Chinese government is seeking to censor – so then Google is making it the job of the Chinese to block the site.
The caveat at the bottom of that post – where Google mentions wanting to keep employees in the country (offering the hope that China may want to have some of its citizens working there) but in areas unrelated to the search decision almost shows the impact the recent legal decision in Italy – where 3 executives were found guilty.
“In terms of Google’s wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the sales team will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk. Finally, we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them.”