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google.cn will show uncensored results or close for good

January 13, 2010 – 2:29 pm

Yesterday Google made an announcement. They are no longer willing to censor their search results on Google.cn. They want to talk to the government if it is possible to show unfiltered results or close their China operations. On the official Google blog there is a post about the details: A new approach to China.
Here is the main part of their message:

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web–have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.

Update: While the intellectual elite is rather sad about the ongoing events, the masses of the uneducated seem rather happy: They celebrate the pull out of the US spies from the harmonized harmonious country or they say that Google just couldn’t keep up with Baidu and tries to get out before they loose face.

If Baidu is that superior, then why is it that popular only in China? Why don’t the people outside of China use Baidu?

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  1. 13 Responses to “google.cn will show uncensored results or close for good”

  2. The press seems to find it hard to believe – some see it as a “gambit” by Google, as a prelude to particularly tough negotiations. But I believe that Google’s fears for their tech, and for their reputation, too, have gained a lot of weight in the past few weeks. A company that knows all about you and cooperates with the CCP at the same time – that doesn’t look nice.
    Did you see the SPIEGEL title of this week?
    Haven’t read it myself yet.

    By justrecently on Jan 13, 2010

  3. It doesn’t matter if they are physically located in China or not, hackers can go to any place in the virtual space. Gmail servers were always outside of China.

    China’s government indirectly supported Baidu and other homegrown search engines and is continuing to do so. Otherwise google would have a better market share within China. I heard they have about 18% (Update) 30% , it’s not worth the trouble.

    My guess is they will pull the plug of google.cn, however they will continue to work in the Chinese advertisement market.

    I read Spiegel for a long time, but stopped regular reading about two years ago, when the quality degenerated more and more (Or maybe my standards have risen). At the moment I often read Telepolis.de.

    By Hendrik on Jan 13, 2010

  4. China is not a good market for google anyway. They can’t earn much there due to the general low purchasing power, that also affect the advertisment income, and just have troubles with the government. Anyway, let’s see how this issue is going to develop…

    By Aremonus on Jan 13, 2010

  5. They can just run http://cn.google.com/ or http://zh.google.com/ or something similar. There will still be quite some people googl’ing in China even without a Chinese domain and without an office there. I guess the workers at their China office are not productive anyway (like it is with most Chinese). So they can play with the “we will fire everyone here” argument. Uncensored search results are just as important as being allowed to get a proper beer at a bar. And I don’t mean TsingTao.

    By kozen on Jan 14, 2010

  6. TsingTao is an awesome beer :D

    By Hendrik on Jan 14, 2010

  7. Listen to this stern representation, Kozen:
    unlike Budweiser, Tsingtao is real beer.

    By justrecently on Jan 14, 2010

  8. I think Kozen is not an American ;)

    By Hendrik on Jan 14, 2010

  9. Well, maybe he´s Czech?

    By justrecently on Jan 14, 2010

  10. Click his name, and check his Website.

    By Hendrik on Jan 15, 2010

  11. Baidu is using the same algorithm like google does, but I also prefer Baidu when I’m in China. Why? Because it finds music for me and is usually faster accessable than Google.com (at least from my home, in Starbucks it was usually for about the same).

    By Aremonus on Jan 17, 2010

  12. I’m sure, that Google will never let anyone know details of their algorithm.

    By Hendrik on Jan 17, 2010

  13. Baidu’s online dictionary is useful at times, when Google’s doesn’t seem to hit the mark.

    By justrecently on Jan 17, 2010

  14. Oh I don’t mean the same algorithm in detail, but the same idea: text advertisment acording to search topic, same appearance (only search form on the website), and search results weighted according to their relevance. Of course, baidu also doesn’t use the legendary hoelzle data center or so, but nowadays, servers are so cheap that this doesn’t really matter anymore.

    By Aremonus on Jan 17, 2010

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