back to article Google backtracks on cause of China search block

Update: This story has been updated to show that Google first said a change to its search url caused Tuesday's blockage in China but that it has now backtracked to say this was not the case. On Tuesday, China appeared to cut off mainland access to the Hong Kong-based servers where Google is now offering uncensored Chinese …


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That wasn't a knockdown

It's a slip.

Quite an uneven boxing match this:

Biggest industrial producing country in the world, with more than 2 billion people against an overhyped IT company, producing add-software everybody wants to click away as soon as possible. with about 30k people (or so)

We are all waiting for that horrible K.O. you know that will come, sooner or later.

Maybe they'll stand up again afterwards to learn a lesson like Microsoft did 15 years ago when dealing with China. Only fight fights you have a chance of winning.

Gold badge

Depends on what you define by winning...

It may be that there is no 'winning' for Google when dealing with the Chinese government, and that all they have is bad choices. In which case this could be the best of a bad job for them, both in terms of PR, and getting them out of an awkward situation.

To stay in China they have to go to all the effort and expense of self-censorship, plus the bad PR, and all this only to be a distant number two to Baidu anyway.

Worse, if they're the email provider of choice to China's dissidents, then that means they're also going to have to go to all the expense of securing themselves against the best hackers the Chinese government have got, or suffer constant security embarrassments, getting repeatedly hacked - not exactly an encouragement for gmail users worldwide either... Alternatively I suppose they could eat some more horrible PR by kicking all Chinese dissidents off gmail, but that's a whole can of worms I'm sure they don't want to open.

Also don't be too eager to give a victory to China quite yet. If they're seen to be driving out Google in such a high profile way, in the same month that they imprison 4 Rio Tinto execs for either taking bribes or Rio Tinto refusing to sell a stake in itself to a Chinese firm (or possibly both?), maybe foreign business will think twice about trading there. Not that I'm saying Chinese growth will come screaming to a halt, just that it's economy might not grow as fast as it otherwise might, and remember China's in a race, with India, with a truly hideous demographic timebomb (caused by the one-child law) and with the stresses and unrest of a bunch of very poor people living cheek-by-jowl with lots of very rich people and no legal means of letting off steam. China still needs the West economically as much as we do, to make all the shiny we want...



TBH, I think that becasue Googles market share is so small, and the hoops they have to jump through, aligned with the US's stance on tech exporting to certain states, might make Google just quit and save themselves the hassle.

Really, for such a small addition to their bottom line, is it worth getting employees, inside China, detained and charged with who knows what crime, with a penalty ranging from a fine to death, depending on what mood the local bent officals are in at the time?


On purpose?

Seems like this could be a ploy to show how the great firewall can inadvertently harm businesses on-line operations from working correctly through just including a series of 3 harmless letters in the url.


Go, Google

Who cares if they don't "win" (which, as stated above, is an ambiguous concept anyway).

I'm glad somebody finally has the guts to show the Chinese government that they really don't give a damn.


Lack of credibility

@Majid: when one starts a post by saying there are more than 2 billion people in China, all credibility is lost from the get go.

It means it doesn't worry you at all to talk about things you know nothing about, and that checking your facts is not part of what you consider important.

Well, the rest of the post matched the beginning, as it was simply irrelevant to the discussion: what KO?China will destroy Google? They will prevent you and me from using it?

It's not like Google is fighting China. quite the opposite, it's saying "I don't like what China does, and I can't fight it, so I'll just leave"


Sorry still don't get it !

I still don't understand why media coverage (presumably google made the original link) links the attempted - or actual - penetration of email by hackers and their decision to discontinue filtering search results. They seem to me to be two quite separate issues. Not only that, Google has been willing to accept the filtering for sometime and no doubt many hackers have attempted to penetrate Google servers and will continue to do so.


I hope China boots out Google forever

I'm not really fond of China, but I like Google even less. The fact is that Google censors searches all the time. Remember the story about 'Islam is'? China, at least, is upfront about what it is doing. Google just blames its algorithm, as if it somehow got that way by magic.

So what if Google had some of its intellectual property stolen by someone who may or may not be connected with China? Look at what Google has tried to do with sleazy little backroom deals: steal people's copyrights for books that are merely out of print, however that is defined.

China can at least run its economy, while Google can't even make its searches work for newsgroups anymore.

Here's a word in your ear, Goggle: China is a sovereign nation. That means that it can set the rules in its own country. You don't get to set the rules from your cozy little offices and impose them on the world. You don't own the world. And don't go on about unelected officials. Tell me, who elected you?

If Google falls in China, maybe it will fall in another country next. I hope so. I use AltaVista for my searches, so I won't miss it. I buy actual maps, you know, on paper, so I won't miss it. I don't need its so-called services. I'll be glad when it is dead and buried.

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