Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Google removes censoring from China search

As widely reported in the global press (including the BBC), the Google-China story has taken a further step forward with Google announcing that they will stop the censoring of their search results in China, which had previously been a part of their agreement with the Chinese government to operate in that market. This move goes against the authorities warnings of repercussions, should such a move be implemented.

In recent months, Google had complained about a "sophisticated cyber attack originating from China" which mostly affected their Gmail service and appeared to target Chinese dissidents. After talks between the search engine and Chinese authorities, it would appear that no solution has been found and so Google has taken this step to challenge their position with China.

The company is now redirecting all visits to its Chinese version of the search engine to their Hong Kong service, which is not subject to the same censorship controls. They say that this will slow down the speed of the search engine slightly, but it comes as an open challenge to China, and it remains to be seen what the government will decide to do. Officials had warned Google repeatedly that it would face consequences if it did not comply with the country's censorship rules.

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