Google Reroutes Chinese Searchers to Hong Kong

Lora Bentley
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Will Google Take a Stand in China?

 

Instead of leaving China or bowing to pressure from government censors, Google came up with a third option: It's maintaining research and development and sales staff in China, but when searchers in China bring up its Web site, they are rerouted from Google.cn to Google.hk.

 

CNN.com explains:

Although now part of China, the handover agreement from British rule allows [Hong Kong] to operate as a semi-autonomous region until 2047 -- the "one country, two systems" approach. The city has a free press and tolerates political dissent.

 

As such, Google is not required to filter search results there. However, the Chinese government does censor results on Google.hk - through a system known as "The Great Firewall." Searches on prohibited topics, such as "Tiananmen Square massacre" result in brief loss of access to Google.hk, accompanied by a message that the "connection to the server was reset..."

 


Though the move won't make much difference for the average Chinese Web surfer, business people and educators are concerned because local search engines there cannot run international searches in English as well as Google does.

 

And Google's opinion of the Chinese censors reaching into Hong Kong? CNN.com reports:

Google said if the government blocks access from mainland China to its Hong Kong search site, it may further reduce its presence there.


Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Mar 23, 2010 11:03 AM Theresa Gallo Theresa Gallo  says:

Congrats to Google. A real response.

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Mar 23, 2010 11:14 AM Dave Borgioli Dave Borgioli  says:

This is a tough call for any company since they are in business to make money, yet at the same time they do have to be careful with the communist Chinese government for many reasons.  I like this response and it is a good start.  It leaves them options to move in both directions depending upon how things go.  They've also shown other large corporations an option and it will be interesting to see if other companies follow Google's lead.  If they don't, Google has an option to trumpet it's moral lead and make other companies look bad.

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Mar 23, 2010 12:44 PM Calculator Ftvb Calculator Ftvb  says:

Thank goodness. This seems like a viable solution. Congratulations, Google!

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