Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Google 'does no evil' to Chinese government

Google has said it will censor its search services in China in order to gain greater access to China's fast-growing market. Google has offered a Chinese-language version of its search engine for years but users have been frustrated by government blocks on the site.

The company is setting up a new site - Google.cn - which it will censor itself to satisfy Beijing's hardline rulers. Google argued it would be more damaging to pull out of China altogether. Critics warn the new version could restrict access to thousands of sensitive terms and web sites, many of which are already off-limits to users because the Chinese government blocks them. Such topics are likely to include independence for Taiwan and the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

Google's move in China comes less than a week after it resisted efforts by the US Department of Justice to make it disclose data on what people were searching for. The company argues it can play a more useful role in China by participating than by boycotting it, despite the compromises involved. "While removing search results is inconsistent with Google's mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with our mission," a statement said.

The number of internet search users in China is predicted to increase from about 100 million currently to 187 million in two
years' time. A survey last August revealed Google was losing market share to Beijing-based rival Baidu.com. Google is not the only high-tech company accused of carrying out Beijing's dirty work. Last year Yahoo was accused of supplying data to China that was used as evidence to jail a Chinese journalist for 10 years.

From BBC News - but Pliable says the BBC obviously aren't Googling. If they had read On An Overgrown Path's recent story they would know that Google owns 2.6% in 'rival' Baidu.com who actively support music piracy and government censorship, and would have included that important fact in their story.


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3 comments:

Pliable said...

And welcome to another interesting new visitor showing up On An Overgrown Path's server log ...

Atomic Energy Organization Of Iran
Tehran, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic Of, 0 returning visits
Date Time WebPage
25th January 2006 09:28:05 theovergrownpath.blogspot.com/

Pliable said...

Nice that this post On An Overgrown Path is rated as one of "Top Stories in the Blogosphere" by a leading news aggregators today - see http://www.topix.net/blogs

Pliable said...

I went to Google.com and searched on Tiananmen Square. ... I went to Google.cn and did the same. I got a little bit different picture. ... Raw numbers. Google.com returns 1,830,000 results. Google.cn returns 13,200 results.

Read the rest in ... The Colossus