You may have been paying attention to the battle that is currently raging between Google and the Chinese government.
So, why would Google bother waging a war against one of the biuggest countres in the world?
In January, Google announced it is no longer willing to censor searches in China and might just pull out of the country. In February, Google claimed that the Chinese goverment was behind the attempts to hack into Gmail accounts of Chinese dissidents.
Now, Google.cn (the Chinese version of the Google search engine) is being redirected to the uncensored Google Hong Kong site (Google.com.hk). This has outraged the Chinese government:
“Google has violated its written promise and is totally wrong by stopping to censor its Chinese language search results and blaming China for alleged hacker attacks, ” the Xinhua news agency quoted an official in charge of China’s Internet bureau as saying.
The Chinese official went on to say , “We’re uncompromisingly opposed to the politicization of commercial issues, and express our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conducts.”
The Chinese internet is protected by “The Great Firewall of China” which blocks tens of thousands of websites and search results.
It started in 2005 when Google entered the Chinese market, agreeing to censor search results. When you google “Tiananmen Square” in China, you get a friendly page about the biggest public gathering place in Beijing. However, in the rest of the world, get the world famous picture of a brave student squaring off with a tank in 1989.
The world is going through a transformation of equality and human rights through the use and implementation of technology everywhere. Every cell phone, every connection to the web and every online business connects another human being around the world.
Business Insider put it this way:
By simply redirecting Google.cn to Hong Kong instead of unplugging it and maintaining the rest of its operations in China, Google has:
* Maintained all of its China traffic
* Stopped censoring its search results
* Forced the Chinese Government to censor the search results (via the Great Firewall)
* Made clear to Chinese citizens and the world just what content is being censored (those searching for the Tiananmen Square uprising, for example, now get an error page instead of no search results)
* Retained the option to redirect the traffic back to China.cn if an agreement with the Chinese government can be reached.
However, is this simply a short term gain for Google which will lead to a much longer term win for China?