Google backs down in conflict with China

In March, a feud between Google and the Chinese government culminated with the former setting up an automatic redirect, which forwarded visitors of its mainland China site to the uncensored Hong Kong portal. The PRC wasn’t going to take that on the chin. Judging from the latest update on the official Google blog, China effectively presented the search giant with an ultimatum: drop the redirect or get out.

In less blunt terms, Google explains that Chinese officials threatened not to renew Google’s Internet Content Provider (ICP) license. The company needs that license to operate a commercial website in China. Eventually, Google buckled and came up with the following solution:

We have therefore been looking at possible alternatives, and instead of automatically redirecting all our users, we have started taking a small percentage of them to a landing page on Google.cn that links to Google.com.hk—where users can conduct web search or continue to use Google.cn services like music and text translate, which we can provide locally without filtering. This approach ensures we stay true to our commitment not to censor our results on Google.cn and gives users access to all of our services from one page.

The redirect will disappear "over the next few days." Google says its ICP license was up for renewal on June 30, and it’s submitted a renewal application "based on this approach." We’ll find out soon enough what China makes of this more nuanced but still-somewhat-defiant approach.

Comments closed
    • Marc B
    • 9 years ago

    I am amazed that the Western educational system has produced such a China apologist (like Valerie Jarret), but perhaps I suppose shouldn’t be. It is an admitted fact that during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Chinese government was responsible for the deaths of at least 35 million, with some estimates up to 125 million Chinese citizens. We should have nothing to do with such a murderous and still abusively authoritarian regime. They were worse murderers than the both the Nazi’s and the Bolsheviks.

    Should we be doing business with the Third Reich if they were still in power? I mean, they only tallied an estimated 13 million total dead by their own policies. Just because the US Government has been responsible for the deaths of many people in various global conflicts does not mean US citizens have to give a pass to murderous regimes, despite your illogical means for ending discussion on a topic in which you are very short on factual information.

    I lost trust and respect for Google many years ago and exclusively use §[< http://www.startpage.com<]§. They have no side deals with the authoritarian governments, rat out dissidents, or view your search information as their own property.

    • Trymor
    • 9 years ago

    It’s too bad Google ‘backed down’. Human Beings have the right to know. Enlightenment is inevitable, it’s just too bad it is not swift.

    Try

    • wira020
    • 9 years ago

    Hmm… have everyone forgot that google wanted to leave the china search market after the hacking?.. i was under the impression that they wont be doing business with china anymore… or does it simply mean they moved their office out of China?

      • shank15217
      • 9 years ago

      It was just hot air, they didn’t do anything.

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        Money talks

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 9 years ago

    And when I said they would cave in, Google fanboys were quick to flame.

      • wira020
      • 9 years ago

      Or redirect them to goatse.. lol..

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      Cook Islands might have it available, toog{<.<}g

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        I see what you did there.

    • oldDummy
    • 9 years ago

    It is very, very hard to be the only one in the room that sees an elephant.
    With no public uproar or backing it would be the beginning of the end for business.
    What is so different about the US?
    On many levels it is sad, but understandable.

    • ronniefrown
    • 9 years ago

    Lets see what happens

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    PRC is criminal in their censorship and brain washing, not a single person I asked while in china had heard of the tiananmen square massacre.

    Edit : it is however a awesome place and I’d visit it agian in a heartbeat.

      • luipugs
      • 9 years ago

      maybe they just aren’t too keen on exposing themselves, to an outsider no less. who knows who might be listening.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 9 years ago

        No, in one situation I was approached about polotics and the trouble with tibet by some college law students, when I was there a couple years ago the summer prior to the olympics and tried to discuss chinas history of civil rights and the revolution, they had no idea what I was talking about. And they started the discussion on the topic I tried to avoid it(realizing I was in china after all, and “who knows who might be listening” as you say) but they really wanted to know what a outsider thought, in the end they thought I was a little missinformed about things by international propoganda against china.

      • marvelous
      • 9 years ago

      It seems to me you are the one brain washed

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 9 years ago

        that is what they told me. ^_^ maybe just a little bit.

        • bdwilcox
        • 9 years ago

        *[

          • albundy
          • 9 years ago

          it would have been a great time to infiltrate and take over then by the US. a majority of the population would have risen against him as the infiltration progressed due to the imbecile starving everyone.

          • marvelous
          • 9 years ago

          Some how your own internet wiki says 3000 but now it became 80 million.

          US kill millions of people in a bad day but you knew that already.

          Where do you get your information? Don’t tell me! US govt. The same govt who told you there’s WMD in Iraq. :/

            • Meadows
            • 9 years ago

            Words cannot describe the magnitude of /[

            • marvelous
            • 9 years ago

            Nice. If you have nothing intelligent to say call people stupid. :/ Typical.

            • trackerben
            • 9 years ago

            Heh, I was watching tiananmen events on the news when it happened.

            Depopulation during the Mao regime includes the effects of megafamines due to agrarian upheavals caused by inutile communist policies not to mention sheer incompetence. Google collectivization, Rummel, democide, Mao, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution. Or check out “Judith Banister, China’s Changing Population (1984)”, Jung Chang, Mao: the Unknown Story (2005), Kurt Glaser and Stephan Possony, Victims of Politics (1979). Or if you prefer, Guinness Book of World Records, Mass Killings.

            Apparently not even the Soviets caused as many deaths in their own territory. Then again, they admitted only recently they lost some 20M during the 1940s Great Patriotic War. And that was a victory.

            Who knows what future archives might tell of non-wartime death tolls during the Stalinist era. It’s all justifiable from communist/nationalist-socialist “historical-scientific dialectic”, leviathan takes all. Everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing but the State… and so on.

            • marvelous
            • 9 years ago

            In this in age you can make a video of anything. US and China are adversaries. US is going to down play China as much as possible and even make crap up about them. Same with China about USA>

            You might have heard of this saying. “Don’t believe everything you see or hear.” It would be so easy for me to make you believe stupidest things on Earth but you knew that already.

            • Meadows
            • 9 years ago

            I bet the other 50 outraged countries made it up too.

            • dashbarron
            • 9 years ago

            It’s greatly disturbing when comments about a specific event, ala mass genocide, are defended and reflected with egregious zeal by people who just want the “lies” to go away.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            How many died because of those two bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 9 years ago

            In the context of WW2, hardly anyone at all died from the bombs.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Doesn’t matter – a mass murder of civilians is completely , especially by someone who claims higher moral ground.

            In other words, because of those bombs, USA completely lost the moral authority to whine about China killing civilians.

            • trackerben
            • 9 years ago

            Helps to keep things in historical context and perspective. The death toll at Dresden was between 25-80K, in the same ballpark as Hiroshima/Nagasaki, and that was a conventional raid by the British. Berlin suffered a far higher death toll and a rape campaign by Soviet troops so widespread that the 20 thousand abortions documented after the battle only hint at its magnitude. We are not even touching on what the populations of Nanking, Pingfan, Chekiang region, St. Petersburg, Warsaw, Kiev (Babi Yar), or Manila suffered, never mind the holocaust megadeaths.

            The atomic bombings appear well-considered given the context of the time, the US public’s waning support for yet another costly grand campaign after having already suffered a half-million wardead. The decision to drop the Boys was made in hopes of avoiding an invasion with projected allied combat deaths in the fractional million (see V Corps planning estimates for Olympic and pre-Coronet).

            Terrible experience with fanatic resistance at Okinawa and Saipan suggests Japanese death tolls from direct combat alone would have been 5-10X higher. Ensuing famines and other privations would have led to additional megadeaths, of course. Most of Japan would have been occupied, hamletted, and continually devastated for years afterward, perhaps decades, if the history of diehard Japanese remnants holding out well into the 1960s is any indication.

            That the Japanese were busy organizing millions of civilians into a kamikaze guerilla army did not bode well for US plans. The need for what would have been the bloodiest invasion in history, to break the fighting spirit of the Yamato and their emperor, horrified US planners.

            In this brutal wartime calculus, the intimidation of the militarist empire into early surrender was seen by many as a kind of blessing. Most especially by US troops assigned to assault divisions in the first wave, which planners dryly estimated would be “attrited” some 50% into combat ineffectiveness within two weeks from D-Day. Said former Singapore PM Lee Kuan Yew, who barely escaped the massacre of Singapore: “…But they (the Japanese) also showed a meanness and viciousness towards their enemies equal to the Huns’. Genghis Khan and his hordes could not have been more merciless. I have no doubts about whether the two atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were necessary. Without them, hundreds of thousands of civilians in Malaya and Singapore, and millions in Japan itself, would have perished.”

            WWII was fought for keeps across four continents by fully mobilized and motivated nations. Such unlimited war is about breaking things and killing people, but you already knew that.

            Edit: Tellingly, you did not mention the firebombings of Tokyo, a more grounded moral counter-argument in terms of intent vs outcome.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          No proof. They didn’t get to defend their point of view in an actual court.

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    “OK, you can do me, but [slightly defiant tone] I want you to be gentle”

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 9 years ago

      …any chance I could get a reach-around with that?”

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 9 years ago

        gentle isn’t in the PRC vocabulary.

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