Photo: Associated Press
Google’s decision to redirect its China site to Google Hong Kong produced a surprisingly strident response from the Chinese government, which denounced the move as “totally wrong” and a “broken promise”. In an amusing press release, the government also accused Google of “politicalizing” itself.
No one expected the Chinese government to accede to Google’s demands, but Google’s clever decision to simply redirect its China site to Hong Kong exposed just how much content the Chinese government insists on censoring. (Instead of simply not finding content about Tiananmen Square, et al, searchers now get a big message saying the page is unavailable.)
Just as important for Google, the move left the Chinese government in the position of having to censor the content (via the Great Firewall) instead of simply ordering its pawns at Google to do it.
The Hong Kong redirect has created another embarrassment for the Chinese government, both within China and internationally. China is already dealing with the perception that it is has begun to crack down on foreign businesses. And now Google has once again (temporarily) humiliated it in the eyes of its citizens and the world.
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