In a recent act of defiance and an attempt to pre-empt the refusal of a search licence, Google (not wanting to be blamed for censored search results) has redirected Chinese users to a Hong Kong based Google server in the hopes of proving that the Chinese Government is censoring results rather than the search engine.
A compromise has been agreed upon between Google and the Chinese Government, which will allow users to search Chinese internet sites via Google.
This licence has since been renewed, and Google will continue to show all Chinese search results through its Hong Kong based server. Unfortunately, this server will run through “the great firewall of China” and many results will load extremely slow, or not at all.
In reflection this is a win for both the Chinese Government and Google.
Google still has a footprint in the search market – although not the biggest, and the Chinese Government has shown both internally and externally that it is willing to balance economic issues and censorship.
Does this mean that the Chinese Government is becoming lenient to outside influences? Or perhaps this is a very clever way to control the flow of information.
Google has been allowed to trade in the Booming Mobile phone industry, but in another slap in the face, the search functionality in its Android based phone has been striped and replaced with the competition – Baidu.
“Many analysts were stunned by the moves and question whether Google was acting prudently in risking its spot in the world’s largest Internet Market”