Speculation is heating up on whether or not the Chinese government is hijacking Chinese Internet search traffic and redirecting it to Baidu, the leading Chinese search engine. Google acknowledged the issue, but did not provide any insight on who is doing the dirty work: "We've had numerous reports that Google.cn and other search engines have been blocked in China and traffic redirected to other sites," said a Google spokesperson. Philipp Lenssen, who maintains Google Blogscoped, noted that all sites with the word "search" in their domain name all began to redirect to Chinese search engine Baidu as of about 1 a.m. Beijing time Wednesday.
Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land pointed out that a 2002 Reuters article documents China's previous use of Internet traffic redirection as a means of retaliation against Google. Why would China do such a thing? Theories range from this week's various events: Chinese Communist Party Congress - happens every 5 years and is typically a time of heightened government sensitivity, China's unhappiness of Dalai Lama's warm reception in Washington and Google's YouTube launch of a local site in Taiwan – a country China considers to be part of China.
News source: InformationWeek