Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A small but Strategic victory for Google

After issuing many threats that it would pull out of China Google was left with little wiggle room, and it looked like they had backed themselves into a tight corner. It was a given that the Chinese government would not cave into their demands. Doing so would have made them look weak not only among their people but also to the rest of the world. Thus Google’s latest move to redirect traffic to Google hung Kong is a very smart move for in one shot it exposed just how much content the Chinese government insists on censoring.   Instead of getting an error message or simply producing no search results, users are greeted with a message that states Page is unavailable. This move now shifts the burden of censoring content from Google shoulders to that of the Chinese Government via its “great firewall” and at the same time is a small victory for Google as it has the Chinese government on defence now as indicated by the following statement.

Google has "violated its written promise" and is "totally wrong" by stopping censoring its Chinese language searching

results and blaming China for alleged hacker attacks, a government official said early Tuesday morning.Full Story

Google’s current strategy to redirect its China site to its Hong Kong site Google has virtually given up nothing and achieved all the following benefits in one shot.

Made the Chinese Government look foolish and directly exposed the level of their censorship. This together with Google’s “evil meter” (this metre shows what the Chinese government is blocking in real time) has now enabled the whole world to see the extent of china’s censorship.

It has not lost any of its Chinese Traffic, and it managed to catch the Chinese government off guard with its sudden announcements as evidenced the host of silly responses from government officials.

It has stopped censoring search results, transferring this burden to the Chinese government instead.

And finally it has the option to redirect traffic back to China. Cn if a new agreement with the Chinese government can be reached.

In conclusion, Google’s victory while small is somewhat significant. It has been able to stick to its guns without giving up its stake in the world’s fastest growing internet market. 




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