January 25, 2006
Google Starts China Service With Censored Pages
If you read the story in the China Daily, the story sounds like another innocuous business story. Google's presence in China has been through a Chinese language version of its .com address. Now there will be a purely Chinese version with a .cn address. The story ends with this paragraph: "Initially, Google's Chinese service will be limited to searching Web pages and images. The company also will provide local search results and a special edition of its news service."
To find out what makes this special edition so special, look at this story from the London Times (Timesonline.com). Google apparently is making some search results unavailable at the behest of the Chinese government, and some stories not receiving any coverage by Google News China.
Google, according to its own statements, recognizes the trade-offs for doing business in China with its mission statement, but believe that the company can have a more positive impact competing in China under these circumstances.
The discussion at SearchEngineWatch describes how Google had been censored by the Chinese government without any help from the company. The Chinese had apparently placed overlay blocking on the .com site as well as other sites the government found objectionable. There's also commentary about how censorship occurs in France and Germany over Nazi related information.
One positive note about Google's action is that no one has gone to jail over it. So far. We'll see how they react when they confront that situation.
January 25, 2006 | Permalink
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