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  • Gerrit Eicker 15:05 on 9. July 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Google.com.hk, , ICP License, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google China II. 

    Google: We are very pleased that the [Chinese] government has renewed our ICP license; http://j.mp/bLFs1B

    • Gerrit Eicker 15:08 on 9. July 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP license and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China.”

      NYT: “The renewal allows Google to continue offering limited services in China and to direct users to the company’s uncensored Hong Kong-based Chinese language search engine, google.com.hk. Hong Kong, a former British colony that is now a special administrative region of China, is governed separately from the mainland. … But Beijing has also signaled its determination to monitor Google. In a media report released on June 30 by Xinhua News, China’s official news agency, a government official said that the local company running Google’s Chinese Web site had pledged to ‘abide by the Chinese law,’ when it submitted its renewal application.”

      TC: “Google told Reuters on Friday that Beijing had indeed renewed the license, thus averting a potential shutdown of its search page in the fast-growing Internet market, the world’s biggest with over 400 million estimated users. – The renewal of the license had been in doubt due to the tension between Google and Chinese authorities over alleged hacking of Gmail accounts and censorship of Google search results.”

      Guardian: “Google is due to report its second-quarter financial results next week. Google’s search business in China accounts for a tiny slice of the company’s £15.82bn in annual revenue. Analysts’ estimates of Google’s annual revenues in China range from $300m to $600m, but long-term growth prospects are key. – There was no immediate word from China’s Information Ministry about the renewal.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:59 on 24. March 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Google.com.hk, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Closes Google.cn 

    Google closes Google.cn, offers uncensored search via Hongkong, and: is disappointed about others; http://j.mp/9KscVk

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:12 on 24. March 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “We stopped censoring our search services – Google Search, Google News, and Google Images – on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.”

      NYT: “While the decision to route mainland Chinese users to Hong Kong is an attempt by Google to skirt censorship requirements without running afoul of Chinese laws, it appears to have angered officials in China, setting the stage for a possible escalation of the conflict, which may include blocking the Hong Kong search service in mainland China.”

      VB: “It’s a surreal idea – the world’s best-known Internet company facing off with the government of the world’s most populous nation. It’s a company versus an entire state. … In any case, it’s a bittersweet day for employees, who say they’re proud to see it take a stand, but sad to potentially walk away from a market that the company had invested so many resources in, according to a half-dozen we spoke to based in the U.S. and China. … Whatever comes out of the matter, the last few months have made it clear that that web may become increasingly siloed for political ends. Iran’s telecommunications agency said in February that it would permanently suspend Gmail and roll out its own state e-mail service instead.”

      RWW: “One future scenario that could unfold is that China could block access for its citizens to the Google Hong Kong site and Google could call on the US government for assistance. The US government may or may not be interested in intervening.

      CPJ: “‘We welcome this stand against censorship and hope that all Internet companies operating in China take a similar principled position,’ said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. ‘Many of the Web sites censored by the Chinese government are news and social networking Web sites, with a wide range of topics blocked from general discussion. Google’s decision to stop censoring search results will put Google on the wrong side of the Great Firewall. In the long run, however, we hope that it ramps up pressure on the Chinese government to allow its citizens to access the news and information they need to be informed and engaged citizens.'”

      TC: “China is now censoring some search queries itself. A Google spokesperson confirms to us ‘it seems that certain sensitive queries are being blocked. However, the Google.com.hk site is not currently being blocked.’ Checks with contacts inside China also confirm that the Hong Kong site remains accessible.”

      NYT: “Google, the world’s largest Internet company, once viewed China, the world’s largest Internet market, as a bottomless well of opportunity with nearly 400 million Web users, and an even larger number of potential customers for its nascent, but vital, mobile phone business. – But by directing search users in China to its uncensored search engine based in Hong Kong, Google may have jeopardized its long-range plans.”

      Sullivan/SEL: “Apparently, Google’s Sergey Brin now believes that the US government should make fighting Chinese censorship a high priority, is disappointed with Microsoft for continuing to censor and is surprised that some question Google’s sudden U-turn in China. I’d say Google needs to get a little time under its belt being outside of China and setting a true example for others to follow, if it really wants to be taken seriously and demonstrate leadership.

      Guardian: “Brin saved his strongest criticisms for Microsoft, which he said had capitulated to the Chinese government and trampled over human rights merely in an attempt to score points over Google. – ‘I’m very disappointed for them in particular,’ he said. ‘As I understand, they have effectively no market share – so they essentially spoke against freedom of speech and human rights simply in order to contradict Google.’ – He was referring to comments by Microsoft chairman and co-founder Bill Gates, who told American TV – shortly after the revelations that Google had been attacked by hackers based in China – that Beijing’s censorship was ‘very limited’.”

      AdAge: “The business world is moving against China. All the press about Google’s departure isn’t helping. The Chinese government may or may not be hacking into our so-called private lives. Google is providing a politically correct way for anyone that desires a way out of China and a potential way in for opportunists. – Is it the perfect public relations spin or a legitimate way out? … Is Google’s departure from China really based entirely on human rights? Or is it a really convenient way to cut loose from a lackluster revenue-generating environment? Maybe it’s both. In either case, would you blame them?”

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