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That's that: Google.cn Is No More

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 46 comments

Google.cn is no more, and now redirects to Google.com.hk.

Google has been in the spotlight recently over its consideration to end its operations in China. All came to light when Google stated that some of its services--like Gmail--were hacked from someone within China.

The search giant then announced that it would consider closing its doors in China over censorship, sparking heated debate with the Chinese government. Since then, speculation over when Google close its China doors have run rampant. Today however, Google flipped the switch and has ceased all censoring in China. Google reps indicated that it would still keep some offices open for busines.

From Google's official blog:

On January 12, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.

So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.

Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we've faced—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. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.

In terms of Google's wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the sales team will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk. Finally, 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. Despite all the uncertainty and difficulties they have faced since we made our announcement in January, they have continued to focus on serving our Chinese users and customers. We are immensely proud of them.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 34 Hide
    astrodudepsu , March 22, 2010 9:01 PM
    It's a step in the right direction. Censorship anywhere is an affront to liberty everywhere. GG google.
  • 31 Hide
    Sythix , March 22, 2010 9:04 PM
    Google 1 China 0
  • 27 Hide
    Hellbound , March 22, 2010 9:05 PM
    Good.. That sort of censorship is bad anyways. I hate how governments try to control people.
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    cryogenic , March 22, 2010 9:00 PM
    I love you Google, human rights is not something to be taken lightly!!! I really do love you!
  • 34 Hide
    astrodudepsu , March 22, 2010 9:01 PM
    It's a step in the right direction. Censorship anywhere is an affront to liberty everywhere. GG google.
  • 31 Hide
    Sythix , March 22, 2010 9:04 PM
    Google 1 China 0
  • 27 Hide
    Hellbound , March 22, 2010 9:05 PM
    Good.. That sort of censorship is bad anyways. I hate how governments try to control people.
  • 21 Hide
    nicklasd87 , March 22, 2010 9:06 PM
    Google, destabilizing nations since 2010 ;) 
  • 20 Hide
    doc70 , March 22, 2010 9:08 PM
    And, the world is still spinning...
  • 10 Hide
    brendano257 , March 22, 2010 9:10 PM
    "Google reps indicated that it would still keep some offices open for busines." - Gee I wonder how long it will take before these building are surrounded by "soldiers" with no 'official' relation to the Chinese government ;) 

    Honestly, Google has the right to do this. Censorship just shouldn't happen (although it's good for parents vs kids, @China - your citizens are not children, they can think for themselves now.)
  • 20 Hide
    Shadow703793 , March 22, 2010 9:11 PM
    CanadianPotheadGoogle obviously doesn't care about human rights, only one motivation : more money

    Would you care to explain how giving up market share in China causes Google to increase profits? If anything, Google is probably going to loose money on this.
  • 7 Hide
    Agges , March 22, 2010 9:21 PM
    Something is going to hit the fan soon it seems..

    And in branding terms Google is not losing on its decision, it is gaining market shares in the West due to taking a stance
  • 3 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , March 22, 2010 9:23 PM
    I wonder how the Chinese government will react and whether there will be repercussions.
  • 1 Hide
    Ciuy , March 22, 2010 9:30 PM
    GOOOOooooo Goggle, BBbuuuuuuuu Chinaaa
  • 3 Hide
    haunted one , March 22, 2010 9:38 PM
    Unfortunately, if Google leaves, it only makes it easier for the Chinese govt to keep its death grip on its citizens.
  • 2 Hide
    virtualban , March 22, 2010 9:39 PM
    when profit headache ratio drops below a certain level, time to pull the plug. Thumbs up anyway.
  • 6 Hide
    kingssman , March 22, 2010 9:41 PM
    China asking Google to Censor the internet is well..... quite an impossible task. Just how does one censor the internet and have at least some form of Internet? The net is TOO HUGE to censor effectively and unless China wants to cut all internet communication off from the world, they gotta deal with the fact that the Internet is one form of media they can't control what is being said.
    Good for Google not to put up with such ridiculous demands to offer such a stripped down version of their product.

    You can't stop the signal
  • 5 Hide
    tpi2007 , March 22, 2010 9:42 PM
    At the same time google made a smart political move: Hong Kong is chinese territory, but, having been transferred from the UK, just like Macau has over from Portugal, they have a special, less strict, regime. They are just showing the people in mainland China how weird this form of Communism can be. It's a smart move, but, alas, I doubt it will last long, China will block the site to mainland China.
  • -5 Hide
    breaks33 , March 22, 2010 9:47 PM
    otacon72Your ID says it all, go back to smoking your dope. You post holds no water since you haven't backed up anything you said. Back up your comments with facts or don't post at all. Anyway, I'm glad to see Google take this step.


    Has anyone ever explained to you what a troll is?
  • 2 Hide
    Elementgreen , March 22, 2010 9:50 PM
    Oh, right, because implying that you're a marijuana user also implies that you're an ignorant fool. Hypocrite much? I wont go much farther than that though, I would rather not try to debate about pot on a tech forum.

    ANYHOW, I fully support what google has done. Unfortuntely, this will probably not change China's perception on censorship, or their people's rights.
  • 2 Hide
    pipes990 , March 22, 2010 9:53 PM
    I can't wait to see China's Response. Go Google!!
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