Google is staying in China, for now

Google's presence in China has been a almost never ending controversy over censorship, social responsibility, and human rights. It was always a struggle to try and keep up with China's complicated and sometimes intrusive legislation concerning Internet filtering and censorship. China always seemed to be at odds with Google’s services and philosophy regarding free speech and open platforms. When Google announced in January of 2010 that they would no longer be censoring search results coming from the google.cn home page, the Chinese were none too thrilled with the prospect. Eventually, China decided, contrary to widespread popular demand, that they would not renew Google’s ICP (Internet Content Provider) license unless they complied with the national censorship laws.

In June, Google compromised by routing all traffic coming to google.cn through google.com.hk, their Hong Kong home page, which isn’t tied to the same restrictions and provides unfiltered search. They were hoping that China would accept the solution and renew their license, but that wasn’t in the cards. China was of the opinion that simply redirecting wasn’t good enough, and Google was back to square one.

At the end of June, Google made one last effort to try and appease the Chinese government. A small portion of Chinese users were given a landing page instead of the vanilla google.cn homepage, a page that gave a link to the search engine in Hong Kong, while giving all the unfiltered services the Chinese government will allow on the original google.cn homepage.

As of today, according to the Official Google Blog, China has decided that this is a viable solution, and has renewed Google’s ICP license. This is a win-win situation for all parties involved, and for now, at least, Google isn’t going dark in China.

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17 Comments

I'm not sure why China accepted that....since (at least what was shown in the last news post) the "landing page" is just a page with an image of a textbix and the image links to the hong kong site

Google wouldn't want principles to hamper world domination of internet search / advertising!
"Do no evil" indeed

LOL, that's so funny. I thought Google just did that to show how silly China was, but then they go and accept it as a solution. Haha.

Beaux said,
Why does China even have the internet? Shouldn't they be carving in stone tablets or something?

If the Chinese were still carving on stone tablets today, I wouldn't want to know what the West would be doing.

Bioran23 said,

If the Chinese were still carving on stone tablets today, I wouldn't want to know what the West would be doing.

Wondering if is there anything else to do with stones beside those wannabe knives.

I'm shocked that the Chinese Gov't accepted that.. I know that if I was in their position I'd have told Google to shove it..
But as was said, it's a win win Google and the Chinese People..

Lots of typos... edit articles. 'Hong king' ? 'A small portion of Chinese users were given a landing page instead if the vanilla google.cn homepage...'

Google has to accept the chinese law or get out. I think the firewall is a great idea. Ofcourse it doesn't work very well But they should also introduce it here. but as an option. it can be used to block child-porn etc.

hotosega said,
Google has to accept the chinese law or get out. I think the firewall is a great idea. Ofcourse it doesn't work very well But they should also introduce it here. but as an option. it can be used to block child-porn etc.

Most countries, even in the western world, have some version of the "Great Firewall of China" exactly for that.. It just doesn't get much publicity as no who comes across it is gonna speak up, and the sites are mostly defined by interpol and the like.

It's not a win-win, because results are still being filtered. Google isn't filtering them, but the Chinese Government is, so this whole move accomplished little.

amon91 said,
It's not a win-win, because results are still being filtered. Google isn't filtering them, but the Chinese Government is, so this whole move accomplished little.

You mean that China is filtering web sites that may appear in the Hong Kong results? Because I can't imagine Hong Kong letting China filter the actual result pages... Well, in any case, what you say's probably true, but that's outside of Google's or anyone elses control, and in that case, Google has done as much as they can.

Northgrove said,

You mean that China is filtering web sites that may appear in the Hong Kong results? Because I can't imagine Hong Kong letting China filter the actual result pages... Well, in any case, what you say's probably true, but that's outside of Google's or anyone elses control, and in that case, Google has done as much as they can.

Hong Kong is actually under Chinese control even though they still have some independent control. My guess is they don't really have a say in how China filters/doesn't filter search results for IP addresses originating from mainland China as long as Hong Kong IPs are unaffected.

Google wants the market share, PRC Government wants their face.
Google doesn't have the balls to lose the profit in China and PRC Government doesn't want to bear the another guilt of suppressing freedom of information propagation.

That's a win-win situation on both party, maybe.

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