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March 22, 2010

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Comments

BG

LZ, very nice breakdown. *bump*

Marc

I am from Spain and I lived for almost 2 years in China. After my experience there I must say:

This post misses a few things, as all the posts written in occident regarding this issue.

1) The longer this high profile fracas goes on, the greater Chinese Internet users awareness will be about the lengths to which their government goes to blinker their knowledge of the world...
What is news in USA, Europe, is not news in China. In China there's an official news agency (Xinhua) which controls all the media. ALL THE NEWS.
So nobody in China knows about this, only the most tech-savvy people... and sorry, they are just a bunch

2) If they punish Google further for events of the past few months, that will further feed the anxiety of a foreign business community who have already been complaining ...
This happens everyday. Chinese government can do whatever they want. What's happening to Google has happened hundreds of times to big occidental companies in China and no government has moved a finger. We need them more than they need us. Even with the unfair treatment, it's cheaper for most companies to keep their factories in China than bringing the production back to their origin countries. Have you seen any occidental company backing Google's decision and leaving China?

Also, the assumption that Chinese people needs Google is also wrong. They have Baidu (the most widely used search engine in China). A few notes:
-It's Chinese (yes, China is different, it's not enough with translating an interface)
-It has most of Google's services already implemented (news, images, maps, ...)
-+ dozens more: http://www.baidu.com/more/ , including MP3 search and download...

Scott

While I side with Google in this dispute, the unqualified support that we lump on them needs a little examining. Do we really want to live in a world where a corporation can force a government's hand by just pulling out of a country? There are some potentially some dangerous implications of China bowing to Google.

anonymous

"UPDATE2: The Chinese government is reacting in a knee-jerk and counterproductive manner which implies that they think they should have jurisdiction over websites hosted on computer servers physically beyond their borders, and which implies disrespect for the Hong Kong Basic Law to which the CCP made a clear commitment."

Please elaborate how the response implies such things. Blocking redirect from google.cn to google.hk (if it happens) is very different from filtering google.hk, which you imply?

StoneHead

Re. Update #2: Why should anyone think that China has any intention of respecting the Basic Law? They have already broken it several times, both in intent and in fact. China will say whatever it thinks it needs to and then do what it wants. And the vast majority of the world media is just fine with that - just as they were fine with CNN being in bed with Saddam Hussein.

But kudos to Google for standing up to the bullies in Beijing.

Moe

I sort of disagree with Marc - it's the tech-savvy people who know what's going on, but also students in universities that are already used to using alternate methods to get to blocked sites. I'm in China teaching now, and yesterday in class my students were worrying over the fate of their gmail accounts. Google (even google.cn) gets better, wider results than Baidu, and the difference with the music is that Google Music is legal, whereas Baidu mp3 search brings you to pirated sites. I'm waiting and watching now to see what happens. I've had no real trouble accessing google.com.hk or google.com since Monday.

Concerned Citizen

Good for Google...they finally did something less evil. Marc from Spain is probably correct for most people in China who have been polluted by the evil CCP. However, there are hundreds of millions in China who have had their land stolen, who protest (there are 50,000 riots per year) and there are still tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners still....in spite of one of the most vicious persecutions that includes organ harvesting, torture and murder. Those people understand.

Ray

China's government is not responding in a knee jerk reaction. All the official is doing is repeating the official position that does not take into account google's elegant solution that forces China to make the next move.

Tom

Summary of the update 2 drama: Chinese government spokesman makes a bland statement with absolutely no new content. Rebecca MacKinnon fails to read statement (or maybe it went in one eye and out the other), puts words into Chinese government spokesman's mouth, makes random accusation about disrespecting the Hong Kong Basic Law.

If you want some intelligent analysis of the events (rather than just spouting the same old freedom-and-liberty talking points that we've been hearing since elementary school), head over to the ChinaDivide blog. Kai Pan's analysis is simply spot-on.

As for Moe's students -- they'll deal with it the same way they deal with Facebook being blocked. Won't be fun at first. But they'll deal.

But now let me turn the question around. Let's say Gmail does get blocked. Now fast-forward to a time when Google comes back to China. Knowing that this is a company that deprived its users of access to their email in order to make a political statement by playing chicken with the Chinese government -- would you trust your email to Gmail again?

PacRim Jim

Ask yourself what kind of country needs to keep information of any type from its citizens.

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