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Google has had enough of China

It took a few months, but Google has finally had enough of China. Google and the Chinese government have been at odds ever since Google claimed that it systems were hacked by the Chinese. “In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google,” wrote Google Chief Legal Advisor David Drummond back in January. “However, it soon became clear that what at what first appeared to be solely a security incident--albeit a significant one--was something quite different.”

Since that time, a war of words has been escalating and U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has even gotten involved. Now, Google has finally put its foot down with regards to China – it's tired of the network attacks and it's tired of censoring search results to appease the Chinese government.

“So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on,” wrote David Drummond, Google's Chief Legal Officer, on the company's official blog today. “Users visiting are now being redirected to, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong.”

Drummond goes on to say that the Chinese government has been unwilling to compromise or hear Google's side of the argument when it comes to censorship, let alone the network intrusions that originated in China. Also noteworthy is that Drummond specifically mentions that U.S. executives alone were responsible for the decision to shut down “None of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them,” Drummond emphasized, likely in a nod to ensure that nothing fishy happens to the Chinese employees.

Despite the fact that will cease to exist, Google maintains that it will continue to pursue its research and development efforts in China.

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By superPC on 3/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: why?
By Goty on 3/22/2010 4:12:03 PM , Rating: 5
Easy, it's an example of a company putting its morals before its bottom line. I think it should be applauded.

RE: why?
By Brandon Hill on 3/22/2010 4:18:17 PM , Rating: 3
You must wonder though, why did Google agree to censor search results in China in the first place? It wasn't until they got jacked that they decided to change their position...

RE: why?
By mmntech on 3/22/2010 4:32:01 PM , Rating: 3
It's simple. China is a huge market. They put up with censorship to make money but got fed up of the constant harassment.

Not much will change though. Baidu will take over and the government will continue to oppress it's people, so they can desperately hold onto their fragile authoritarian regime. At the vary least, it sends a strong message from the West that there are people who won't put up with that BS. Too bad Western governments haven't been doing the same.

RE: why?
By Danger D on 3/22/2010 4:43:22 PM , Rating: 5
I'm willing to applaud a change of heart. And if it wasn't a change of heart, I'm willing to applaud good actions (even if motivated by profit). Positive reinforcement does wonders.

RE: why?
By ekv on 3/22/2010 4:55:29 PM , Rating: 4
There are lots of question marks that are raised. I thought surely Google won't put up with the censorship restrictions that China will impose to enter their market. But the size of the market and lure of profits was perhaps too much to resist. The restrictions seemed to be increasingly Machiavellian over time as well.

Like you say "It wasn't until they got jacked that they decided to change their position..." Which raises more questions. Would just one incident change Google's corporate strategy? I think not. Especially when the Chinese gov't denied any involvement and the attacks were traced back to two universities. So something else is going on.

"What?" you may ask. The article mentions
“However, it soon became clear that what at what first appeared to be solely a security incident--albeit a significant one--was something quite different.” wrote Google Chief Legal Advisor David Drummond back in January.

What was that something? Could it be a pattern of attacks? (that we haven't heard about?) Could it be harassment of Google employees? Could it be Chinese agents being hired unbeknownst to Google? Curiouser and curiouser.

It is well known that China conducts extensive and long-term industrial espionage, here and abroad. I suppose that hacking Google was just a logical extension of those efforts. If they got away with it then China could "sell" the technology to a local company who could replace a foreign-owned entity. If they got caught well then, China could simply deny it and they'd still have significant IP (while the foreign entity would be intimidated in the process). Win-win as far as China is concerned.

Evil little bastards.

A step in the right direction for Google to man up to their stated moral code(s). Not an easy business decision. Especially with Microsoft -- and I use a lot of their software, don't get me wrong -- being rather callow to pointedly stay in the Chinese market, simply for the sake of stabbing Google in the back.

RE: why?
By rudy on 3/22/2010 11:22:39 PM , Rating: 1
I think it is honestly more selfish than people realize. Google did not care about censorship until they got hacked. At that point they knew the corrupt Chinese officials would probably sell IP to Baidu and it would costs them in some form. On top of that Google's do no evil model has not gone over well with their Chinese operations. So maybe Google knowing they lost to Baidu, realized it was just a smarter move to try to gain extra market share in every country but China by appearing to be a good company. This would increase news about the company as well.

RE: why?
By ekv on 3/23/2010 1:20:53 AM , Rating: 2
I really don't disagree with anything you've wrote.

Baidu is the number one search provider in China followed by Google. Bing et al. are distant thirds (single digits as far as market share). So many people/companies gain by Google's departure. I can't fault Google for putting a positive spin on an otherwise bad situation. Google's investors are seething (over the pull-out), yet, frankly, Google did the right thing (in this situation).

China's search restrictions are not public information. I believe it's a state secret. You won't see that in a "democratic" Western-style country (since restrictions come from public law). I'm pretty sure the hack also went after Google IP [which could then be "sold" to domestic search providers], although Google says the hack was aimed towards gaining information on (so-called) dissidents with gmail accounts. That is just so wrong.

Further, I don't know about you, but I do see a pattern in China's behaviour.

"Cyberwar declared as China hunts for the West’s intelligence secrets"

"Google, don't politicalize yourself"

To blame Google for being the victim is just so typical. Bad behaviour, bullying behaviour does not improve by ignoring it -- correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't have any better word for it other than "evil." I can't say I like Google that much, but at least they did something.

RE: why?
By MatthiasF on 3/22/2010 4:56:36 PM , Rating: 1
Google was declined a spectrum license the week before the alleged hacking.

All bull to cover the fact the Chinese rebuffed Google's plans at entering the wireless ISP marketing in China.

RE: why?
By icanhascpu on 3/23/2010 12:45:06 PM , Rating: 1
Fuck censorship!

RE: why?
By MrBlastman on 3/22/2010 4:27:29 PM , Rating: 2
Darned right. I don't often like Google but I applaud their decision here. About time someone has stood up to the Chinese government. What are they going to do now? Hack us again?

All of America needs to send a giant middle finger to their government.

RE: why?
By Smilin on 3/22/2010 4:31:22 PM , Rating: 1

Why do they Censor in other countries then? UK, France, Thailand, Turkey, Germany, Israel etc...

Morals. pftt. They do plenty of evil.

RE: why?
By vgdarkstar on 3/22/2010 4:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
Because hate speech, child porn, and copyrighted materials shouldn't be censored?

There are the legal cases as with Scientology but... really I challenge you to source your claim. Here's a wiki article very nicely sourced for your consideration.

RE: why?
By vgdarkstar on 3/22/2010 4:59:55 PM , Rating: 2
RE: why?
By Smilin on 3/22/2010 5:07:36 PM , Rating: 3
Because hate speech, child porn, and copyrighted materials shouldn't be censored?

So who decides what gets defined as "hate speech"? That's the essence of censorship.

LOL at the idea that Google will censor copyrighted works...we'll save that debate until another article about their massive book scanning comes up again.

What about the censorship in say Turkey? It's almost identical to the censorship in China: Don't allow searches that cast our govornment in a negative light. It has nothing to do with hate speech, child porn, etc.

really I challenge you to source your claim.

OK, here. Easy.

Don't ask for any more sources though. I'll send you over to lmgtfy and the sudden blast of irony may kill us all :)

RE: why?
By inighthawki on 3/22/2010 4:12:30 PM , Rating: 4
Because the sheer level of how much of an asshole China has been thus far is greater than Google's want to tap into the market...

RE: why?
By bohrd on 3/22/2010 4:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
Partly because it goes against their company mantra. "Openness" or something like that. Google will do perfectly well by staying in markets outside of China.

I say good riddance to bad rubbish.

RE: why?
By deputc26 on 3/22/2010 4:13:18 PM , Rating: 3
I applaud Google. Ethics > $. Altruism exists.

RE: why?
By Smilin on 3/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: why?
By JediJeb on 3/22/2010 5:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
What do they censor in those countries? I doubt they censor they types of things they censor in China like any talk of a free society. Censoring obscenities is very different from censoring ideals. If someone posted naked photos of my child I would want those taken down which could be considered censorship, but if someone posts ideals that conflict with mine, even about posting photos of my child, I would let that stand because I think it is wrong to censor ideals.

RE: why?
By Smilin on 3/22/2010 5:26:08 PM , Rating: 1
What do they censor in those countries? I doubt they censor they types of things they censor in China like any talk of a free society.

It varies country to country but there are indeed some countries where the censorship is very similar to that of China. Turkey for example doesn't let you badmouth the government.

Checkout some of the links in my other posts...

RE: why?
By rbfowler9lfc on 3/22/2010 7:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
Why do they Censor in other countries then? UK, France, Thailand, Turkey, Germany, Israel etc...

There must be some kind of erroneous processing at the DT server that holds the comments, I've seen yours at least 2 times before in the same thread.... Weird....

RE: why?
By Smilin on 3/23/2010 9:30:30 AM , Rating: 1
I'm blatantly repeating myself as everyone else is blatantly falling for the "google is being a good citizen" tripe.

I was surprised to find out how much Google censors myself though so I can't fault others who haven't heard this.

RE: why?
By Makaveli on 3/22/2010 4:14:16 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really see it as a big loss, sure america only has 300+ million people and china 1+ billion. I would rather serve a market with 300m "Free users" Than the other where the government tells them what they can see or read about etc.

RE: why?
By StevoLincolnite on 3/23/2010 12:13:03 AM , Rating: 2
I don't really see it as a big loss, sure america only has 300+ million people and china 1+ billion.

I'm sorry... The world is much larger than just the USA and China, And Google has a world-wide presence, I can assure you, China's market is just a fraction of the entire planets, USA included.

I would rather serve a market with 300m "Free users" Than the other where the government tells them what they can see or read about etc.

I would rather serve everyone on the planet, knuckle down on the Chinese Government, and give them grief, they shouldn't be allowed to get away with such Totalitarian control regimes, it's just wrong in my eyes.

RE: why?
By redbone75 on 3/22/2010 4:16:03 PM , Rating: 3
how can a company such as Google left a market as large as china? china has more internet user than the US has people. it has more cell phone user than the US and Canada citizen combined. to leave a country that has that big market is pure insanity.

Because sometimes it's not all about the money. I applaud Google for having a backbone and refusing to be cowed by China. If China is serious about having companies like Google operate withing its borders and play by their rules, then they need to play by the rules as well and not hack said company (allegedly, of course).

RE: why?
By gcouriel on 3/22/2010 4:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
right, because they didn't think about that before making this move.

the attack occurred in December, not last week. it took time to determine where the attacks came from, but this decision was not a knee-jerk reaction.

RE: why?
By Blight AC on 3/22/2010 4:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but Chinese government does some pretty shady stuff, it's actually nice to see a company take a stand. As you mentioned, it's a pretty big audience to turn your back on. Although Google isn't really leaving, it's mainly just moving out of China and changing it's operation to Hong Kong.

Way to go Google
By Yeah on 3/22/2010 4:20:15 PM , Rating: 5
I think it makes perfect sense. They have not necessarily pulled out of China in fact, they say they will still be developing over there. But I am happy that Google finally took a stand against the 'Great Firewall' of China and are paving the way to how it should be. Ok Microsoft... Yahoo... your turns.

RE: Way to go Google
By Smilin on 3/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: Way to go Google
By MadMan007 on 3/22/2010 4:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
Did you really have to post the same question 3 times?

RE: Way to go Google
By Smilin on 3/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: Way to go Google
By ekv on 3/22/2010 5:07:26 PM , Rating: 3
Unfortunately it is unusual for a business to take such a stand. Taking the high-road is all too uncommon these days. So it does need to commended. Often.

I too have some gripes regarding Google however. I don't care for all the "personal" data they collect from users of their web-sites. Having said that, I have not heard much about Google censoring the web. Do you have links?

RE: Way to go Google
By Smilin on 3/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: Way to go Google
By ekv on 3/22/2010 5:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I read it. Thanks. I also read

The article you reference seems to say that Google censors results for countries like Germany and France, etc., because the search restrictions are openly stated and democratically voted on, as it were. For China, the search restrictions imposed on Google, et al., are a state secret. China is communist after all.

Censorship isn't perfect. Transparency appears to be their key, though some of it boils down to being decided by the "Cult of Google".

RE: Way to go Google
By Lifted on 3/22/2010 7:16:15 PM , Rating: 1
China is communist after all.

All these years at "war" with the evil commies and we can't even edumacate people on what communism is.

RE: Way to go Google
By ekv on 3/22/2010 7:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
I see you're right on topic....

Or do I state the obvious?

RE: Way to go Google
By GodisanAtheist on 3/22/2010 10:01:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think he's going for the whole "China isn't communist, they're some weird form to totalitarian" angle. A point of view with which I could agree.

RE: Way to go Google
By ekv on 3/22/2010 10:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I didn't quite get that. Especially with the "edumacate" reference.

Was I putting a negative spin in my statement that was anti-Chinese communism? Sure. Why not. Is there a problem with that?

Am I trying to make them out as the sinister bogeyman and therefore the world needs to take action? Puhlease. Give me a break.

And just so we stay somewhere near on-topic, I just saw another article which is typical of how China treats dissent.

"China Doesn't Need a Politicized Google"
No country will allow information about subversion, separation, racialism and terrorism to circulate in it through the Internet.
Would I be out-of-line to suggest that the USA does indeed allow this. Does Google censor some searches? yes. But as far as "subverting" the gov't? Damn, you can find all kinds of stuff.

RE: Way to go Google
By Smilin on 3/24/2010 9:57:41 AM , Rating: 2
LOL you dicks downrated a link to a cnn article? What is your agenda here?

China Own H.K?
By Seedillume on 3/22/2010 7:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't China now own and/or control Hong Kong? If so, then what is the purpose of leaving the mainland in favor of Hong Kong?

RE: China Own H.K?
By messyunkempt on 3/22/2010 8:09:52 PM , Rating: 4
Hong Kong has a different economic and political system than mainland China, the wiki entry is quite an interesting read.

RE: China Own H.K?
By messyunkempt on 3/22/2010 8:12:44 PM , Rating: 3
This one I'd say is the most relevant...

Hong Kong residents shall have, among other things, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and of publication; freedom of association, freedom of assembly, freedom of procession, of demonstration, of communication, of movement, of conscience, of religious belief, and of marriage; and the right and freedom to form and join trade unions, and to strike.

RE: China Own H.K?
By afkrotch on 3/23/2010 12:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
China does own Hong Kong, but won't fully control it til 2050 or something like that. When the UK returned Hong Kong to China all the economists, businesses, etc freaked out, so China did one of those 1 country, 2 government things. Hong Kong and one other territory of China's is like this. I don't remember the other.

RE: China Own H.K?
By xsilver on 3/23/2010 1:02:48 AM , Rating: 2
You're talking about the SAR (special administrative region)

the two regions are hong kong and macau.

The current negotiation is for their to be 1 country 2 systems until 2050 but I suspect that come 2045 their will be riots in the streets if this doesnt get extended for at least another 50 years.

Why HK?
By WindSlash on 3/22/2010 6:13:51 PM , Rating: 2
Just curious, why did Google redirect to instead of let's say.. or with simplified Chinese? I mean.. isn't HK now controlled by China?

RE: Why HK?
By ChugokuOtaku on 3/22/2010 8:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Why HK?
By alanore on 3/23/2010 7:30:13 AM , Rating: 2
Redirecting to would have caused a huge diplomatic rift.

Also I think in most Chinese states is block. Although apparently so to is in some.

I think this move is just Google way to get kicked out of the PR China, so it can save face and not pull out on its own.

I'm surprised they went through with it
By iluvdeal on 3/22/2010 6:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
China will be the leading economy of the next 100+ years. Thus I'm really shocked Google is willing to abandon the search market there, I didn't think they would actually go through with it. On one hand, I'm proud they took a stand against China's censorship. As an investor though, I'm deeply concerned the search giant will have no presence in the most populous country in the world. I bet China is not happy about this so I can see China hurting Google's other efforts there like their mobile OS division.

It's rare to see a company make a decision where money is not always the overriding factor. Props to Google. This is the type of company I want to support.

By Chaser on 3/23/2010 8:55:10 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. And I am sure Google would liek to be a part of that leading economy. Which shows to me how much of a hell the Chinese government must have made it for Google.

By masamasa on 3/23/2010 3:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
That's a scary thought.

By Yaron on 3/22/2010 4:12:18 PM , Rating: 3
I respect what Google are doing. True, it makes little commercial sense but they are standing their ground. This is going to be interesting...

All I have to say is...
By Motoman on 3/22/2010 7:03:27 PM , Rating: 3's about time.

For a company who's tagline is "don't be evil," they most certainly should never have agreed to China's censorship laws in the first place.

At least they finally pulled their heads out of their asses. Better late than never.

do you feel lucky -lol
By falc0ne on 3/23/2010 3:56:10 AM , Rating: 2
<<you've gotta ask yourself a question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?>> for those who've seen Dirty Harry series:))) the caricature with the tanks is also so funny.
hoorah google for leaving china:)

By bupkus on 3/22/2010 4:41:06 PM , Rating: 1
Nice pic.

I think from hence forth I shall spell Google GoOgle.

I wish I could have listened in on the Google naming committee.

Props to Bill Watkins.

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