Google Will Stop Redirecting Chinese Searchers to Hong Kong

For the last three months, Google has found a clever way to overcome its ethical objections to self-censoring search results on its Web site for mainland China, google.cn. It has automatically redirected Chinese users to an uncensored search site, google.com.hk, maintained on the company’s servers in Hong Kong. There was only one problem with this solution: the Chinese government objected to it. On Monday night, Google acknowledged those objections in a blog post written by David Drummond, its chief legal officer. Mr. Drummond wrote that the Chinese government was ready to reject Google’s application for renewal of its Internet Content Provider license, which would effectively mean the company would have to shut down its Web site in the country entirely. The license renewal application is due on Wednesday. Mr. Drummond wrote that in an effort to continue to serve Google’s Chinese users while placating the government, the company is proposing a compromise. In the next few days, it will stop automatically redirecting users to its Hong Kong site. Instead, Chinese users will see a page at google.cn which offers a single link to the Hong Kong site, where they can conduct searches or use other Google services, like translation and music, that require no filtering. The company said it had resubmitted its content provider license based on this approach and hopes the Chinese government will find it more palatable. If the government continues to object, Google would lose its ability to operate a Web site in China altogether.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/google-will-stop-bumping-chinese-searchers-to-hong-kong/?ref=technology

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