Posted by Tom Foremski - March 22, 2010
As expected, Google has stopped censoring its China searches and directed queries to its Hong Kong site.
David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer wrote about the redirection "it's entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services."
Google said it would retain its R&D centers and its sales teams.
But can it remain in China given the rising animosity to its opposition of the Chinese government? Can its employees in China feel safe from repercussions?
Google is trying to protect its Chinese employees, it stated:
...we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them.
But feelings towards Google are running high in China. Over the past weekend, the Chinese government and allied media organizations, stepped up a publicity campaign against Google.
Sam Gustin, writing in the Daily Finance, reported: Chinese Media: Google Is Tied to U.S. Intelligence - DailyFinance
Chinese media organs lashed out at Google (GOOG) in an apparently coordinated assault on Saturday -- with one paper suggesting Google is linked to the U.S. Intelligence Agencies...
Reuters reported: China state media accuses Google of political agenda | Reuters
China's state media on Sunday accused Google Inc of pushing a political agenda by "groundlessly accusing the Chinese government" of supporting hacker attacks and by trying to export its own culture, values and ideas.
The negotiations with the Chinese government have failed badly. Google has demonstrated a shocking lack of historical knowledge and lack of understanding of Chinese culture in its dealings with the Chinese government.
For a foreign organization to give the Chinese government an ultimatum on changing its laws is like poking a sharp stick into an old wound. Google should have Googled "Opium Wars" before it issued its ultimatum.
The British forced the Chinese to make opium legal, which led to huge amounts of instability in Chinese society, and resulted in two brutal wars, the second one included the French.
The Chinese government is concerned that without Internet censorship, there will be instability in its society. Yet Google made demands that its Internet censorship laws be changed, after it was angered by a "sophisticated" hacker attack it said originated in China.
- Google has not provided the Chinese government with any of its evidence that sophisticated hackers were acting as agents of the government. Those attacks now appear to be amateurish rather than "sophisticated" as it originally claimed.
- Google has allowed the National Security Agency (NSA), the world's largest spying organization, to help it with its security -- a move that has badly backfired. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, ACLU, and Electronic Privacy Information Center have all warned about Google and the NSA getting together. [Was China An Excuse For GOOG + NSA Collaboration?]
- Google users in China have not had any explanation for its position, claims an open letter by Chinese "netizens" to Google and Chinese government ministers. Please see: RConversation: Chinese netizens' open letter to the Chinese Government and Google
I like Google's stand against Internet censorship but its dealings with China have become very messy and could have repercussions beyond China.
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Here is a PearlTree about Google and China - a visual way to see related web content: