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bye bye google.cn

March 23, 2010 – 12:08 am

http://google.cn

There was some talk about shutting it down at the 10th of April, but now it already happened. Let’s see who shouts, cries and complains the loudest. Bye bye google.cn, bye bye censorship. I guess they’ll throw a big party in the Baidu headquarters. Who has Baidu shares?

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  1. 14 Responses to “bye bye google.cn”

  2. I think all this is just a theater, I don’t believe the Cn government, nor Google. I’m sure this is not yet the end of the story, but there must be a lot of things happening behind the scenes and we’ll never really know what exactly has been negotiated.

    By MKL on Mar 23, 2010

  3. They all act according to the great plan and this google thing is just a small part of something bigger.

    By Hendrik on Mar 23, 2010

  4. Moving the servers to HK is a joke. It allows them to disable the censorship without acting illegal but nothing more. A new PRC law requires _every_ website in chinese language to register with the chinese government if it should be accessible in china. I guess google.cn soon wont be accessible in china anymore…

    By Boris on Mar 23, 2010

  5. I think that law was about websites that use a .cn domain, not necessarily all websites written in Chinese. Anyways, I agree. The Chinese internet law is very tight.

    By Hendrik on Mar 23, 2010

  6. I wonder what’s this all about. Why should google close it’s China branch? Why did this all start now? I don’t believe that “chinese cyber warriors attackint google”-stuff

    By Aremonus on Mar 24, 2010

  7. I think there is some misunderstanding in the term “Chinese cyber warriors”. Is “Chinese” used here as in “holding a Chinese passport, but not related to the Chinese government” or is it used in the sense of “in some way affiliated or even employed by the Chinese government”. Google has said, that there might be a link to the Chinese government, because the attacks were quite sophisticated. But what kind of proof is that?

    That being said I believe there is some kind of cyber attack originating from China, but the proof that the Chinese government is involved has yet to be shown.

    Apart from the cyber attack thing I believe there is a lot of pressure against foreign enterprises in China. The government will watch them extra careful if they abide the law, while direct local competition can break the law freely and the authorities ignore that.

    By Hendrik on Mar 24, 2010

  8. You name it, Junjie. I bet you and I could also set off a similiar attack if we had enough criminal intent. And frankly speaking… a really sophisticated attack isn’t that easy to be traced back, especially not if it’s government-based. They could just plug their cable right at Google’s cable duct at it’s Beijing headquarter and attack from virtually any IP- oder MAC-Address.
    Thus I really can’t understand Google’s behavior – they Chinese government on the other hand is reacting quite as I expected it to do.

    The favorable policies for native companies in China are certainly unfair and hurt all the WTO contract. Yet it’s imperative for a country with an economy as regulated as China’s, to keep some protectionist policies up. Before abolishing them, the nation has to privatize it’s numerous SOE first, or it’s going to lose all it’s power to foreign companies. If the market was opend right now, any western mobile provider would easily push China mobile and China unicom out of the market – and who knows what would happen, if those companies start facing political preassure in their foreign to not accept certain policies or practices of the Chinese gov? Certainly nothing that’s in the interest of the CPC officials…

    By Aremonus on Mar 24, 2010

  9. *in their foreign homes

    today’s not my day :P

    By Aremonus on Mar 24, 2010

  10. 不敢当. I can write software, but breaking into some computer system is something I have no clue about.

    The favorable policies for native companies in China are certainly unfair and hurt all the WTO contract. Yet it’s imperative for a country with an economy as regulated as China’s
    Fair play is important to keep everyone happy. If the locals are treated better than the others, then the others will invent their own tricks, which might be dirty as well.

    Let me give an example:

    “Foreign companies cannot extract natural resources in China” – Fair, because everyone can read it and it is enforced the way it is written.

    “Bribery is uncool” – Yet local companies can bribe freely while foreigners have to be extra careful. Not fair. To make it fair they should reword the law into something like this: “Only local companies are allowed to bribe the government” This way would be fair, because then everyone knows what’s going on.

    By Hendrik on Mar 25, 2010

  11. The purpose of a search engine is to provide search results. I’d say that Google has got at least one step closer to its own policy, and that’s important for a company in every case.
    This doesn’t answer the questions many people (including me) have about how Google is handling personal data – for one, I find the “Google camera cars” fairly intrusive, and I wouldn’t create a Google profile myself.

    But a laudable move is a laudable move. And a nice side-effect is that there may be factors that override the “China-is-too-big-a-market-to-be-missed” slogan. That one has become a modern superstition among many business people.

    By justrecently on Mar 25, 2010

  12. To be frank, I don’t believe that Google closed it’s Chinese headquarter just because it wants to introduce some ethical policy. The business of business is business – even google knows that and if it really wanted to avoid chinese market, it probably wouldn’t have invested millions there in the past few years.

    I agree that policies should be written down straightly, but I can’t confirm that it’s any harder for foreign companies to bribe officials than it is for natives (don’t ask me why ;) ). You just need to know how the dance goes…

    By Aremonus on Mar 25, 2010

  13. I’m not sure if the first para of your comment is an answer to mine, Aremonus, but if so, let me say that I don’t believe that any company is driven by mere idealism – it’s here to make a buck. But ethics doesn’t need to be unpractical. I’d rather say that in the long run, it is in itself practical. The core business of Google is to provide search results after all. And four years ago, I’d have guessed that censorship would draw it milder in the years to come.
    Naive? Maybe. But I’m probably not the only one who thought so.
    I pointed out before why I don’t trust Google in my own internet and daily life. But if I had trusted them so far, I’d surely change my mind now if Steve Ballmer was at its helm.

    By justrecently on Mar 25, 2010

  14. To avoid misunderstandings, I wouldn’t distrust Ballmer for “not backing the threat”. But a statement that I would have found acceptable would have been something like “Google has made a decision, and I’m not criticizing their decision.”

    By justrecently on Mar 25, 2010

  15. @justrecently,
    there are three known case where yahoo gave access to the private email account of their customers to the Chinese government. Google has denied these requests so far.
    see: http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/21/news/international/pluggedin_fortune/index.htm

    Alternatives are few: many competitors have a less convenient web interface or display to much advertisement.

    @Aremonus,
    I thought only the search business is closed down, some research is still ongoing. Please correct me here if I’m wrong. Do you have a link?

    I guess the difference is: If a local makes a mistake he can pay a fine or stay a while in prison and then continue his business. The foreigner will be removed from the country forever. Yes, both the local and the foreigner can bribe, but if anything goes wrong the foreigner has much more to loose, which means a higher risk.

    By Hendrik on Mar 25, 2010

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