Google stops censoring results in China?

It appears that Google's search results are slowly letting a trickle of formerly censored material appear through the modified version of Google Search for China, according to a report from MSNBC, after Google on Tuesday finally announced that they would no longer abide by Beijing's Censorship rules.

Google announced in January that it would no longer censor results in compliance with the Chinese Government, and would be in talks with China to continue to operate out of Beijing, and had said that the results would not be changed, yet.

The "China Daily", a prominent Chinese publication, as well as Google itself, have said they have not implemented changes yet, though users of the search engine have found this is not the case, even though their search results are still very different from those performed in the US.

NBC tried searching for blocked content using Google.cn; the first search performed on the controversial phrase "Xinjiang independence" returned an illegal result as the first link. Additionally, when "Tibet Information Network" – a group that was critical about Chinese laws and policies – was searched for, it also showed identical results to the US version of Google.

When other similarly illegal searches such as "Tank man", "Tinanmen Square" and "June 7" were searched in Englisn/Chinese Characters by NBC, the results did not match US ones, but offered content that was previously not allowed by the government, showing the infamous picture of a Chinese man standing in front of tanks in Tinanmen square, 1989.

According to Jeremy Goldkorn from danwei.org, a website that tracks the internet as well as Chinese media, "no one knows exactly what's going [on]," and that "It does seem that the filters are not fully working." The results are very different from those found a few short months ago.

Scott Rubin, a Google spokesman in the US, said that the censorship hadn't stopped, and would not confirm if Google.cn would close or not. CEO Eric Schmidt said late last week that something would happen soon, but nobody would provide further comment.

MSNBC goes on to say that another Google spokesman suggested the change may have resulted from alterations made by the Chinese government, which seems unlikely.

The shutdown of Google services in China may have serious repercussions, as it holds 35% of the market share in the country, and the closure would result in no Google Maps on mobile phones, no Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa, or other Google-related web services either. Many businesses rely on these services, and would be forced to find others and rebuild on seperate platforms.

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MeddleMan said,
Man, Google has got China's government by the balls on this one.
"The shutdown of Google services in China may have serious repercussions".
As if China's economy wasn't in enough turmoil, Google could even threaten to shutdown and the government would **** their pants, because of the possible closure or activity suspension of thousands of businesses.

Yes because China has issues with closing down the company that has a 30% market share from another country in searches vs its own company that has roughly 60% of the market share. China clearly can't benefit from this.

thou, i couldn't imagine microsoft and yahoo upholding the human rights issue, i think they prefer blood money and large mainland chinese software and online search market share...

ilev said,
Microsoft will be more than happy to help the Chinese government by censoring search result and crushing freedom and free speech :

Google Exit Would Open a Door for Microsoft : http://online.wsj.com/article/...8404575124062948976720.html

If Google Inc. decides to close the door on its search engine in China, it might open a door for Microsoft Corp.

The software giant's Bing search engine is among the potential beneficiaries if Google goes ahead with its threat to close its Google.cn site amid a dispute with the Chinese government over censorship.

Although Bing has struggled to gain traction in China, Microsoft has already hired away at least three people from Google's China business, after aggressively pursuing them following Google's threat, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Something tells me it still won't pan out for them.

Business is business, regardless of the restrictions. Microsoft with more Bing users would make the shareholders happy, so it would probably happen. Welcome to no-scruples Capitalism.

I hope China crushes them and puts em back in their place. China does things Chinas way and its working out pretty well for em, no reason to stop now.

I dont think Google understood the theory China gave them when they first launched in China.. "Its my way or the highway"..

Every company that does business in or for china has special departments to make sure they comply with their law because of this same thing. Google should be no different and the country won't go into revolution or chaos if they leave. Last time I checked, China's economy was doing better than any other country's and they didn't feel much effect from the recession.

Electric Jolt said,
Google is too popular to just die in China. If it does, the country isn't worth it... There like all hardwired over there to believe freedom is bad.

Freedom = Businesses ignoring the law?

Electric Jolt said,
Google is too popular to just die in China. If it does, the country isn't worth it... There like all hardwired over there to believe freedom is bad.

Google is slowing dying and it just taking its last breath.

RIP

So, say that Google does pull out. Is Microsoft the only other competitor right now that could fill the slot? Or are there no other companies that China has itself that could attempt to fill that gap?

I don't know whether to be impressed that Google made that move or shocked. I'm glad they did, but at the same time - it's them literally verse the Chinese government, right? To just do something that is clearly illegal in China just because you feel you should be able to isn't right (to me anyways). It's another part of the world - completely different set of rules.

I can understand beefing over the attack on them earlier this year, but ultimately this doesn't make what they're doing right when it comes down to the law in their country.

Google is like #3 over there, they don't need to be replaced per say. The big search engines on both sides of the Atlantic are not necessarily the same over there.

Tarrant64 said,
So, say that Google does pull out. Is Microsoft the only other competitor right now that could fill the slot? Or are there no other companies that China has itself that could attempt to fill that gap?

I don't know whether to be impressed that Google made that move or shocked. I'm glad they did, but at the same time - it's them literally verse the Chinese government, right? To just do something that is clearly illegal in China just because you feel you should be able to isn't right (to me anyways). It's another part of the world - completely different set of rules.

I can understand beefing over the attack on them earlier this year, but ultimately this doesn't make what they're doing right when it comes down to the law in their country.

Google isn't even the dominant search product in China. A native one is already on top, called Baidu I think. That's why, initially, nobody figured it would matter if Google pulled out of China. As for Google's other services, eh. They're either commonly competed against (webmail, blogging, etc) or too new for a nation to really be dependent on yet.

I realize a lot of people WISH Google was a dominant market player that could strut its influence around and threaten the government. These same people will still say "Don't be evil" like they mean it, and "M$" like they aren't 13 year old's tinkering with their first install of Debian.

Edited by Joshie, Mar 17 2010, 3:12pm :

Tarrant64 said,
So, say that Google does pull out. Is Microsoft the only other competitor right now that could fill the slot? Or are there no other companies that China has itself that could attempt to fill that gap?

I don't know whether to be impressed that Google made that move or shocked. I'm glad they did, but at the same time - it's them literally verse the Chinese government, right? To just do something that is clearly illegal in China just because you feel you should be able to isn't right (to me anyways). It's another part of the world - completely different set of rules.

I can understand beefing over the attack on them earlier this year, but ultimately this doesn't make what they're doing right when it comes down to the law in their country.

Google is actually only 30% of the search market in China. There is a Chinese search engine that files about 60% of it. China as a country actually benefits from Google leaving in this case.

I guess some people have been living under a rock for the past half of a decade and did not realize that states can no longer operate without facing international consequences. If it were not for these international consequences, human rights violations would still be up there with pre-WWI levels when natural rights were barely realized. I personally have no problem with private forces instigating human rights activism in nations that think it is OK to violate such rights on the premise that they have a "different culture" (but yet can't explain why people of their own culture are calling for human rights!)

DClark said,
I guess some people have been living under a rock for the past half of a decade and did not realize that states can no longer operate without facing international consequences. If it were not for these international consequences, human rights violations would still be up there with pre-WWI levels when natural rights were barely realized. I personally have no problem with private forces instigating human rights activism in nations that think it is OK to violate such rights on the premise that they have a "different culture" (but yet can't explain why people of their own culture are calling for human rights!)

Breaking the law != Activism

Blogs and cable news != Actual awareness of life in China

just checked. google china's search results are still filtered. they'll have their site shut for sure if they don't. period. absolutely no negotiation.

is anyone really bothered if Google IS or IS NOT in china? All china does is try to steal others innovations and replicate them. I for one dont trust anything that comes from that country. It is all about how fast they can pump out a copy of something - not how well is this product made. They will never be up to the stature of other world leaders with their current program.

I would beware of generalizing quite so much. Certainly it's true to an extent, but I don't think you can really tar 1/6th of the world's population with the same brush.

Well, if you can't trust anything from China, let me guess... People complain about "human rights" and "China is evil", and yet some doesn't notice the fact that every major player in technology has factories in... what country, again? There is a big reason on how China became so big, and to name just one: labor cost. It is IMPOSSIBLE to compete with them. It is beautiful thing to shout out as loud as you can "Don't be Evil!", as long as you don't mess with our factories and their amazing low cost, right?

China just sent me a Laptop, its AWESOME!!!!

We hate it when its comes to what people can search, but we have no problem ordering laptops and PC's that are built there for ungodly low wages.

AltecXP said,
China just sent me a Laptop, its AWESOME!!!!

We hate it when its comes to what people can search, but we have no problem ordering laptops and PC's that are built there for ungodly low wages.

We guess that even "human rights" must take a break sometimes, right? []

I tried google.cn without a proxy, searching for "Xinjiang independence"

google.ca - Results 1 - 10 of about 16,300 for "Xinjiang independence". (0.31 seconds)

china google - 16,400 hits

Normally I would say, down with corporations. But this time, DOWN with China !

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