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.
William Ide

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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid