News / Asia

    Google Moves Its Service From China To Hong Kong

    The popular Internet search company Google is in a dispute with Beijing about censorship.
    The popular Internet search company Google is in a dispute with Beijing about censorship.

    The Internet company Google has announced that it will stop censoring search results in China and redirect search requests from Chinese users through its server in Hong Kong. In an announcement posted on the company's Web site Monday, Google said the decision did not mean it was leaving China.

    Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, said the company could no longer censor its services or tolerate "persistent blocking" of such Web sites as Facebook and YouTube by China.

    Instead, he said Google has come up with what he called a sensible solution. Now, when Chinese internet users click on Google.cn in China they will be redirected to uncensored servers in Hong Kong.  

    The decision comes a little more than two months after Google threatened to pull out of China, citing a trend of increasing censorship in the country as well as intrusions by what it called "a highly-sophisticated hacker attack that originated in China."

    Drummond said figuring out how Google could make good on its promise to stop censoring searches on Google.cn had been hard.

    Leslie Harris, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology praised Google for following through on its commitment to protect human rights in China. She also said the decision to redirect Internet traffic to Hong Kong was brilliant.

    "If they had simply pulled out of China, then I think that people would have viewed that as having abandoned the Chinese users," said Leslie Harris. "Instead, by basically recreating the site, the Chinese site, in Hong Kong and re-directing the users, they are making a very serious effort to make sure that the content remains available."

    This she says has shifted the burden to China to decide whether it will permit access to the uncensored site.

    Harris says that while she could not predict how China would respond, she says Chinese officials could just decide to block the Google.cn Web site or remove the domain all together.

    "Either of those two actions is going to make it really clear, who really censors in China," said Harris.

    Although Hong Kong is a part of China, it was granted some autonomy when it returned to Chinese rule 13 years ago - which allow it to retain civil liberties not found in other parts of the country.

    In a statement Monday, U.S. National Security Council (NSC) spokesman Mike Hammer says the White House was "disappointed" that Google and China could not reach a deal.

    The White House says it respects Google's decision and notes that it was told about it before the announcement was made public.

    The NSC's statement reiterated the U.S. government's commitment to Internet freedom and opposition to censorship.  It also expressed confidence that the U.S. - China relationship was mature enough to weather differences of opinion.

    China was quick to criticize Google's decision. China's state-run Xinhua news agency said Google was totally wrong to stop censoring its Chinese language Web site and blame China for hacker attacks.

    The decision to redirect searches to its servers in Hong Kong comes as the debate with Google has been heating up in China.

    Chinese state media have charged that Google is acting as a tool of the U.S. government, trying to penetrate the culture and values of the Chinese people.

    Chinese officials have said that while many foreign companies make profits in China, they must respect all its laws.

    You May Like

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, the history of take-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora