China fires back at Google by blocking Hong Kong search results

When Google took the first step and stopped filtering its results for China, the world knew that China would not sit back and take no action.  Early on Tuesday morning China began blocking access to or filtering results from google.com.hk.

According to the New York Times, China Mobile, China’s largest mobile operator, is expected to cancel its deal with Google that provides search services on its cellular devices.  Because of government pressure, the mobile operator will be forced to abandon its agreement with Google, which for Google, could be a large blow to its daily volume of searches as China has one of the largest cell phone markets in the world.

Google and China have been going head to head ever since Google went public with its complaint that Chinese hackers were targeting their systems and trade secrets.  While the Chinese deny that they have anything to do with the attacks, loose ties have been made to the government. 

Google is continuing to hold strong on its promise to pull out of China if it could not reach an agreement to deliver unfiltered results to its citizens.  Its more than likely that the cat and mouse game between Google and China will continue for some time, but for now, Google has stood by its words. 

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It's amazing what brain wash can do to people when they don't even realize that they have been brain washed. Whenever they hear/read the word "China", they think of communism, then they'd think of human rights and information censorship, blah blah blah. This is beyond ignorant and narrow-minded.

I've lived in both China and Canada for extended period of time and I never had any trouble accessing legit information on the internet in either country. In my eyes, the censorship issue has been blown out of proportion for other un-related reasons(i.e. political).

Therefore, before you post something childish like "COMMUNISM MUST DIE", open your eyes, go out and see the world, don't just rely on all the heresays.

vvpower said,
I've lived in both China and Canada for extended period of time and I never had any trouble accessing legit information on the internet in either country. In my eyes, the censorship issue has been blown out of proportion for other un-related reasons(i.e. political).

Depends what you were looking for though surely...

vvpower said,
It's amazing what brain wash can do to people when they don't even realize that they have been brain washed. Whenever they hear/read the word "China", they think of communism, then they'd think of human rights and information censorship, blah blah blah. This is beyond ignorant and narrow-minded.

I've lived in both China and Canada for extended period of time and I never had any trouble accessing legit information on the internet in either country. In my eyes, the censorship issue has been blown out of proportion for other un-related reasons(i.e. political).

Therefore, before you post something childish like "COMMUNISM MUST DIE", open your eyes, go out and see the world, don't just rely on all the heresays.

Censorship in China is not in dispute, it happens and it's a reality.

linsook said,

Censorship in China is not in dispute, it happens and it's a reality.


Yes it does exist, no doubt about that. I'm just saying it's not as bad as people made it out to be.

thommcg said,

Depends what you were looking for though surely...

Totally. That's why I put 'legit' before 'information' I don't mind a lot of 'made up' BS being blocked at all, and I have seen quite a few of those BS floating around on the 'un-censored' net.

vvpower said,

Yes it does exist, no doubt about that. I'm just saying it's not as bad as people made it out to be.

You're right, its not that bad but it's a huge inconvenience and sometimes innocent information is really hard to obtain. IMDB blocked? That was a total pain in the ass for me. Danwei.org, zuola's blogs(citizen journalists) blocked. Accessing google images would only work intermittently. Couldn't watch youtube videos when people sent them to me. My host blog site (blogbus) was shutdown for 2 weeks because a blog contained sensitive information. foolsmountain, blocked. It adds up and your movement around the internet does feel restricted. Couldn't read any blogs from blogspot. Imageshack is blocked, imagine all the pictures you can't see being posted on a forum... its a pain.

Edited by linsook, Mar 23 2010, 8:07pm :

vvpower said,
It's amazing what brain wash can do to people when they don't even realize that they have been brain washed. Whenever they hear/read the word "China", they think of communism, then they'd think of human rights and information censorship, blah blah blah. This is beyond ignorant and narrow-minded.

I've lived in both China and Canada for extended period of time and I never had any trouble accessing legit information on the internet in either country. In my eyes, the censorship issue has been blown out of proportion for other un-related reasons(i.e. political).

Therefore, before you post something childish like "COMMUNISM MUST DIE", open your eyes, go out and see the world, don't just rely on all the heresays.


Funny I never saw that kind of comments on neowin, I dont' think the "China = Communism" people takes a significant portion of neowin's user base. China as of today is more like a capitalist authoritarianism as its best.

Environment issues, human rights and censorship problems sure are some of the worse problems China is having right now, but as a country and an economic system it functions much better than some people thought.

In my opinion, Google is obliged to avoid censorship of any kind. They company mission statement is as follows: " to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

Think about the entire statement; it suggests Google's place is taking information that already exists and making it available for everyone, in such a way that is useful to the user. It doesn't matter that China's laws dictate censorship, Google's purpose for existing (it's mission statement) is without bounds or borders. Google did the right thing by moving their operations where they would no longer be compromising their purpose. At no point did Google say "China must change", they simply said "We will no longer change for China."

nubs said,
In my opinion, Google is obliged to avoid censorship of any kind. They company mission statement is as follows: " to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

Think about the entire statement; it suggests Google's place is taking information that already exists and making it available for everyone, in such a way that is useful to the user. It doesn't matter that China's laws dictate censorship, Google's purpose for existing (it's mission statement) is without bounds or borders. Google did the right thing by moving their operations where they would no longer be compromising their purpose. At no point did Google say "China must change", they simply said "We will no longer change for China."

.. after 5 years of operations in China.

Google thought that there would be a net benefit for the Chinese (as well as their own bottom line) to entering China. Now, with the benefit of experience, they're saying that there isn't.

Edited by M2Ys4U, Mar 23 2010, 10:58pm :

linsook said,

.. after 5 years of operations in China.

exactly. That and "do no evil" are just a bunch of meaningless words. If they believed it they would have done something years ago, not wait until they got inconvenienced by a bunch of attacks.

There's a lot of garbage on the internet, and there is no harm in filtering certain content. As others have mentioned, it's absolutely wrong for Google to fail to cooperate with the Chinese Government. I can understand that Google was hacked and claim it was the government, but I haven't seen any proof, nor would it justify such blatant disregard for Chinese culture.

Fulcrum said,
There's a lot of garbage on the internet, and there is no harm in filtering certain content. As others have mentioned, it's absolutely wrong for Google to fail to cooperate with the Chinese Government. I can understand that Google was hacked and claim it was the government, but I haven't seen any proof, nor would it justify such blatant disregard for Chinese culture.

Google was cooperating with the Chinese government just fine, they were over there doing their job, censoring results. And as far as you wanting 'proof' of the attacks, Google stated due to the nature of the attacks, it must have been an inside job which indicates possible government involvement. HOWEVER, the attacks are not the issue. Google didn't not want to put up with the issues any longer and decided to get out, THEIR DECISION. Blatant disregard for Chinese culture? In what sense? You act like Google posted a picture of a giant wang on their home page before they left.

Edited by 0V3RS1GHT, Mar 23 2010, 8:36pm :

What is Google motive to face against the Chinese government? I'm sure the Pentagon is in bed with Google at this point. There's no reason why google should put itself in a big risk by taking the soon to be most powerful country on earth. I smell a brewing cyber war going on, it's probably been going for a while.

Contrary to people's concern, it's not possible for China as its current scale to surpass the U.S. as a superpower or even get closer to it, the current storage of energy on the planet won't be able to support such a large population to live in a much higher standard among the world. That's one of the biggest reason why a communist utopia will never work as long as our resources are limited. China is barely industrialized right now and people around the world has already started to feel the conflict on resources with the increasing need of them in this far east country.

tonyunreal said,
Contrary to people's concern, it's not possible for China as its current scale to surpass the U.S. as a superpower or even get closer to it, the current storage of energy on the planet won't be able to support such a large population to live in a much higher standard among the world. That's one of the biggest reason why a communist utopia will never work as long as our resources are limited. China is barely industrialized right now and people around the world has already started to feel the conflict on resources with the increasing need of them in this far east country.

People seem to forget that the reason China is growing is because we keep buying their crap. If they surpassed us, the massive consumer base would fall out and they would go into a recession that is deeper than the one the west just had.

SputnikGamer said,

People seem to forget that the reason China is growing is because we keep buying their crap. If they surpassed us, the massive consumer base would fall out and they would go into a recession that is deeper than the one the west just had.


The proportion of exports:consumption will just go down, they won't hit a recession.

bucko said,
Can you not use a proxy in China?? Or is it to ISP/Modem level??

Show me a proxy that is free and has good uptime (> 95%) and speed, and then we'll talk about whether one can "use" a proxy.

bucko said,
Can you not use a proxy in China?? Or is it to ISP/Modem level??
Sure you can, but is that the real solution for free speech being violated? What if every country went this direction, where would we proxy to?

bucko said,
Can you not use a proxy in China?? Or is it to ISP/Modem level??

The keyword censorship thing is on national level routers, and traffics between large service providers are also heavily monitored. But thank god there are working proxies around, just a bit hard to get for an average user.

tonyunreal said,

The keyword censorship thing is on national level routers, and traffics between large service providers are also heavily monitored. But thank god there are working proxies around, just a bit hard to get for an average user.

Not as hard as you might think. A few friends of mine are over in China doing missionary work and when they came to visit a few months ago, they said the "average user" knows how to do it. The only reason the "average user" in our side of the world doesn't know how is because we don't have the need for it.

Looks like world war three will be fought over the internets...

I am American but I feel like Google shouldn't force their own personal doctrine into other countries. Free will (or the illusion thereof) works for a lot of the world but it's just not accepted worldwide. If the Chinese government has laws, no matter how others interpret them, they should be followed. That's why it's law. If Google doesn't agree with the law it's not really their place to use their money and power to fight it. If I disagree with the laws of a certain place, I avoid it, I don't try to "help" the people who are under that law or try to profit from a place with totally different views from my own. But then again, I'm not a corporation.

If some Chinese people wish to rebel against their government then let them do it on their own. They don't need to hold the hand of a corporation while they're kicking the walls of the palace. There are plenty of Americans who fight our government but they're not sponsored by Google!

It's the people that truly understands that makes the world a better place, thank you.

Google opened their business in China several years ago as part of their strategy, and it's their decision now to withdraw from it. If their decisions are under some kind of pressure, I assume it would be coming from both sides of the dispute. As much as people in China want it to stay as a technology company and keep away from politics, and though people around the world would celebrate the departure of their beloved company from the influence of communist authoritarianism, Google functions as a corporation and it will always do whatever the best to benefit their share holders.

Personally I think if there will ever be a WWIII in the predictable future, it would start from a wave of fighting over resources, or as the climate change became worse. Too bad we know China is gonna be heavily involved in those conflicts anyway.

How is that "firing back"? The Chinese Internet always censors certain keywords by blocking the connection when a web page triggers the alarm. It's been like this for almost 10 years now, and has nothing to do with Google's withdrawal of business from China.

It may be that it's just not worth the extra effort and problems associated with the filtering. Web and content filtering is becoming more complex, and if anything associated with a filter has issues with needed services that are already working in the rest of the world, it may not be worth it. Google may be making a stand for humanity, but I would have to believe they are not forecasting for great losses at the same time.

Oh no.. so where will people go to find info on pirating software? That is about the only thing I can think of that people in the rest of the world need from Chinese websites.

ermax said,
Oh no.. so where will people go to find info on pirating software? That is about the only thing I can think of that people in the rest of the world need from Chinese websites.

The same place they always go since this doesn't effect the rest of the world.

ermax said,
Oh no.. so where will people go to find info on pirating software? That is about the only thing I can think of that people in the rest of the world need from Chinese websites.

Actually they don't need pirated softwares from China. The mainland China is probably one of the largest consumer of piracy, not source of it.

tonyunreal said,

Actually they don't need pirated softwares from China. The mainland China is probably one of the largest consumer of piracy, not source of it.

Sorry I wasn't clear. What I am saying is they are always the source of the methods to circumvent copy protection.

You can still use them as a source but. Google will still index their websites, just people from within China trying to access google.com won't be able to do so.

Why does China seem to be one of the most ass backwards countries in the world?

Just look at the reasoning behind the censorship of genitals in porn, even though western civilization has moved on and uncensored genitals are no longer considered "taboo".

Xtreme2damax said,
Why does China seem to be one of the most ass backwards countries in the world?

Just look at the reasoning behind the censorship of genitals in porn, even though western civilization has moved on and uncensored genitals are no longer considered "taboo".

PRC Chinese officials/politicians/noobs have serious honor/anxiety issues when they don't have 150% control of peoples ideas, thoughts and perceptions of the world around them besides that of what they dictate. They in themselves are a bunch of primitive minded traditionalists, the internet and social communication outside those immediately around you is taboo in China let alone penis's or vag so go figure lol.

Xtreme2damax said,
Just look at the reasoning behind the censorship of genitals in porn, even though western civilization has moved on and uncensored genitals are no longer considered "taboo".
You're probably thinking of Japan. Entirely different country.

Xtreme2damax said,
Why does China seem to be one of the most ass backwards countries in the world?

Just look at the reasoning behind the censorship of genitals in porn, even though western civilization has moved on and uncensored genitals are no longer considered "taboo".

China is looking to censor any sites that let people talk freely. YouTube, Facebook, MySpace ect. They don't want to give their people a forum to express their dislike of the Chinese government. USA will probably be next on the list to request this sort of service from Google.

ermax said,

China is looking to censor any sites that let people talk freely. YouTube, Facebook, MySpace ect. They don't want to give their people a forum to express their dislike of the Chinese government. USA will probably be next on the list to request this sort of service from Google.

The USA is a democracy unlike the communist China and if the US government tries to make sites filiter out data it will be tossed out in a 2nd due to violation of the 1st ammendment.

Adamb10 said,

The USA is a democracy unlike the communist China and if the US government tries to make sites filiter out data it will be tossed out in a 2nd due to violation of the 1st ammendment.

Rolleyes. The USA already filters out quite a few sites. Take torrent sites or child porn for example.

Edited by teriba, Mar 23 2010, 3:01pm :

Xtreme2damax said,
Why does China seem to be one of the most ass backwards countries in the world?

Just look at the reasoning behind the censorship of genitals in porn, even though western civilization has moved on and uncensored genitals are no longer considered "taboo".

It's definitely still a taboo... And I like how you imply that accepting someone's junk on display as normal is somehow, "Ahead", of however the Chinese feel about it. XD .

teriba said,
Rolleyes. The USA already filters out quite a few sites. Take torrent sites or child porn for example.
The second is patently illegal, it's not really a free speech matter because of what the material contains. The first is also basically a matter of material illegality, though I don't recall anything about sites being physically filtered by the government?

teriba said,

Rolleyes. The USA already filters out quite a few sites. Take torrent sites or child porn for example.

The US does not filter the sites themselves. You are free to visit the sites but if you do they are illegal.

Xtreme2damax said,
Why does China seem to be one of the most ass backwards countries in the world?

Just look at the reasoning behind the censorship of genitals in porn, even though western civilization has moved on and uncensored genitals are no longer considered "taboo".


Sexually explicit topics is always a taboo to some extent in the Chinese culture, for example, even though Google claims it provides an "uncensored" experience in the new Hong Kong site for mainlanders to view, it still filters out keywords like "porn" to meet Chinese traditions of "don't ask, don't tell" on sex topics.

Actually the Chinese people did move on a lot from its traditional thinking of sex and more and more people have open minds on these topics today, it's just the communist regime that don't understand it, yet,

Kirkburn said,
The second is patently illegal, it's not really a free speech matter because of what the material contains. The first is also basically a matter of material illegality, though I don't recall anything about sites being physically filtered by the government?

And anti-government material is illegal in China. Censorship is censorship no matter how you slice it, and it all has a chilling effect.

flocker said,
No the people of China will loose, google will still live on, and so will the red flag of china ;>

Lose how? China has their own search engines, google isnt even 10 percent of the market there.

HardSide said,

Lose how? China has their own search engines, google isnt even 10 percent of the market there.

Lose by not having access to information the chinese government doesn't want you to see.

HardSide said,

Lose how? China has their own search engines, google isnt even 10 percent of the market there.

Its around 30%. Get your numbers straight.

flocker said,
No the people of China will loose, google will still live on, and so will the red flag of china ;>

Probably the biggest losing partner in this situation is the I.T. staff and programmers in China, and students in college. The Chinese mainlanders are already left far behind in the race of technology by blocking most of the blogs and social networking sites for access, losing Google will only make it worse.

As for the color of the flag, red is a traditional color in the Chinese culture for wealth and happiness, as well as a symbol for revolutions against the imperial dynasties, not just for communism. The main color of the Chinese national flag was red before the communists took over.

tonyunreal said,

Probably the biggest losing partner in this situation is the I.T. staff and programmers in China, and students in college. The Chinese mainlanders are already left far behind in the race of technology by blocking most of the blogs and social networking sites for access, losing Google will only make it worse.

+1

Gabureiru said,
Google will loose at the end

Lose, and it's already lost. Nothing they provide, China needs.
It's Google that needs the Chinese.

Gabureiru said,
Google will loose at the end
This battle won't do them any good in the Chinese market, certainly. But "lose" is perhaps the wrong word. It depends on whether Google are taking a stand for people's rights on the Internet, or if they're just sore over the attack.

Pupik said,

Lose, and it's already lost. Nothing they provide, China needs.
It's Google that needs the Chinese.

If Google needed China that bad don't you think they would grant China's requests? I somehow doubt Google "needs" China.

ermax said,

If Google needed China that bad don't you think they would grant China's requests? I somehow doubt Google "needs" China.


Why would Google not need China? China got more than 300 millions Internet users, and Google's number one money making machine, is ads. If Google pulls out of China, they're losing a big market and China on the other hand, keeps it's money in-country.

Pupik said,
Why would Google not need China? China got more than 300 millions Internet users, and Google's number one money making machine, is ads. If Google pulls out of China, they're losing a big market and China on the other hand, keeps it's money in-country.

You do realize that China owns more than half of the US GDP right? They're making their money by controlling our economy, quite literally getting rich off of what's making us poor.

Pupik said,

Lose, and it's already lost. Nothing they provide, China needs.
It's Google that needs the Chinese.

They didn't lose anything if they can convince people to believe in their claims(such as how a high school managed to hack into the mail system of probably one of the biggest corporation of the planet). It's like saying "hey I'm gonna show you that whenever I hit my head into this brick wall it will bleed as hell", as long as some people say "Wow you can do that? You're incredible." then it's a success for them.

ermax said,

If Google needed China that bad don't you think they would grant China's requests? I somehow doubt Google "needs" China.

They did, for a long time. Including turning over countless email accounts to the Chinese government without a fight during the time they were leading into opening offices there. They only stopped when their corporate image started suffering.

vaximily said,

You do realize that China owns more than half of the US GDP right? They're making their money by controlling our economy, quite literally getting rich off of what's making us poor.

China holds almost 25% of our national debt, not over 50%. This is still a large portion, but it is important to make sure that your audience knows the facts you are stating to make your point.

Even at 25% China can have serious controls, or maybe "affect" is a better word, over how we are infulenced. ("Control" is a very harse word, I believe affect and infuence are better suited to the point you are attempting to make. (or I could be wrong...)

Peace,
James

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...blic_debt#Foreign_ownership

Intrinsica said,
This battle won't do them any good in the Chinese market, certainly. But "lose" is perhaps the wrong word. It depends on whether Google are taking a stand for people's rights on the Internet, or if they're just sore over the attack.
TBH I think they are just sore over the attack. They could have pulled out of China years ago if they really felt like it. Anyway wasn't Google running in second place to a larger search engine in China? Maybe that factored into it too if I am correct there.


I think the big loss for them but won't be the fact they are losing the web site there but what it will mean for Chinese based hardware manufacturers. I read an article last week, possibly right here, that claimed Motorolla was looking to put Bing on its Android devices as a result and whats not to say other manufacturers wont follow and that they will make in an international move so those same handsets make their way into the US market.

Its a bit early to tell but Googles Android strategy isn't going to go all that smoothly is multiple of the larger manufacturers all decide to put the competitions services on the device to replace Googles due to a lack of presence in their homeland.

Edited by Smigit, Mar 24 2010, 12:03am :