Google takes action to solve China woes
Search users will now be redirected to Google.com.hk that will provide uncensored results in simplified Chinese language
Google is to redirect its Chinese search users to its Hong Kong-based search site, in an effort to overcome its issues with the Chinese authorities.
The Chinese Government had insisted Google censor search results on Google.cn, but following cyber cyber attacks on Google's Gmail service that it believes were initiated by China, and blocking of other sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger, Google decided that it could no longer comply.
Search users will now be redirected to Google.com.hk, which will provide uncensored results in simplified Chinese language, from servers based in Hong Kong. While Hong Kong is part of the People's Republic of China, its status as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) gives it more freedom than the rest of China, which allows it to provide uncensored search.
David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and chief legal officer of Google said in a blog posting: "Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we've faced-it's entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China.
Google said that the increased traffic to the Hong Kong servers could mean slowdown in service, and also warned that the site could be blocked in future.
"We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services," said Drummond.
In order to track any possible blocking of services, Google has also launched a web-based dashboard, which shows service availability in China.