Google vs. China

Google’s announcement about China is rather stunning in many respects from its candidness to the rather bold decision to potentially leave China over “[t]hese attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web…”.

Some may remember a few years ago that Yahoo! controversially provided information to the Chinese government that resulted in the arrest of Shi Tao and Li Zhi. There’s no evidence this impacted the decision but I would be shocked if it didn’t play any role.

It sounds like within the next few weeks we’ll know if Google and the Chinese government have come to an agreement regarding the censorship of search results. I suspect this is only a tiny part of the full story regarding google.cn.

One thought on “Google vs. China

  1. This is a rational decision which comports entirely with their original splitting of the baby, which I thought was reasonably justified, if not exactly a pleasant choice. The understanding seemed to have been that actions arguably not tied directly to private affairs would be supported, while private actions like email and such wouldn’t be offered. If the latter is being trampled upon, that disrupts the previous fragile, agreed balance, so saying “no deal” is entirely justified, perhaps even an expected action. However, all that doesn’t change that I’m a bit surprised they actually acted this way — good for ’em to stick up for themselves.

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