Google redirects China search service to Hong Kong

Apple Online Store“Google Inc. moved its China Internet search service offshore to Hong Kong on Monday, in a bid to provide uncensored search results while still maintaining some business operations in the country,” Alexei Oreskovic reports Reuters.

“Google said traffic to its mainland Chinese search site google.cn is being redirected to google.com.hk, following unsuccessful talks with Beijing about operating an uncensored search engine in the country,” Oreskovic reports. “The move comes amid heightened tensions between China and the United States over a range issues from Internet freedom to the yuan exchange rate, from economic sanctions on Iran to U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan.”

“Google said that it intends to continue research and development work in China and maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the salesforce will be partly dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access google.com.hk,” Oreskovic reports. “A former British colony, Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China and enjoys more freedom, including an uncensored Internet, than mainland China.”

Full article here.

16 Comments

  1. Hong Kong isn’t “offshore” any more than Guantanamo Bay is offshore of Cuba. Hong Kong now has a nebulous and tenuous relationship since England’s 99-year lease expired. If China gets pissed enough, they can just send in a squad of about a dozen soldiers to Google’s server building and take their rifle butts to everything inside.

    China, by the way, is the only member of the U.N. security council that prevents the U.N. from imposing super-strict sanctions on Iran over their nuclear program; they know that if Iran launches one of their missiles with a nuclear bomb fitted into the “owie end” of the thing, it won’t be landing on them, so they don’t give a holy crap. Like the song goes: Money money money… MOOONEY.

  2. @KeepHopeAlive

    It is semi-automomous. Which means they can self-govern to a large extent. As a practical matter, that means “go make gobs of money like imperialist capitalists but don’t piss us off.”

  3. This is dangerous because it dares China to crack down on freedom in Hong Kong. Google could easily have provided the same service through a US-based site.

  4. @ Original Jake

    Dangerous? Maybe a little. China can easily cut direct links to HK. However, having the HK servers working allows mainland Chinese users to access HK indirectly by going through other countries. So mainland routers and filters would have to get smart at catching queries that are ultimately served from HK.

    Its the sort of stuff that results in cat & mouse technology games. Though—as I wrote above—China could send in a squad of soldiers across the invisible border to smash Google’s hardware, they wouldn’t be willing, in my opinion, to suffer the humiliation of looking like the goons they really are.

  5. I will only sell my products in the USA if they get rid of guns, abortions and provide decent healthcare for all citizens.
    </sarcasm>
    Who does Google, a foreigner, think they are to dictate terms to another country! China was as likely to bow to them as the US is likely to stop buying Chinese goods. Or as likely as the healthcare bill being passed…

  6. I work with Iranians, in the oil industry – NITC.

    I think they’re very nice people from what I have experienced. Their hospitality when I stayed with them in Sharjah was supreme.

    But what do I know, I mean I just work with these guys…

  7. @ HolyMackerel

    Dear apologist for China (a tough job, indeed):

    What part of these two fundamental rights of all human beings do you disagree with(?):

    1) Leaders shall govern with the consent of the governed.

    2) All people of good conscience should be able to peacably converse with each other about whatever subject they chose without leaders, trying to cover up their misdeeds, throwing people in jail for discussing those misdeeds.

    If I had been Google, I wouldn’t have stayed in China one damned day after they were caught infiltrating computers at Google and 20 companies, trolling for the e-mail addresses of human rights activists so they could throw even more of them in jail.

  8. @ Jamie,

    I’m sure the citizens of North Korea are nice people too. It’s their leader you don’t want to accidentally slight if you know what’s good for you.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.