Reports are trickling in that China is blocking Google, Yahoo and Microsoft searches and redirecting them to Baidu. Welcome to the land where a firewall is an economic weapon.
TechCrunch has been reporting that Google searches are redirected to Baidu. Adding in other reports, Duncan Riley concludes we're in a cyberwar. Digital Marketing Blog finds Yahoo is also rerouted too. We have no way to confirm this rerouting without any feet on the street in China at the moment. David Feng writes that the TechCrunch take doesn't hold up.
But if these reports pan out it shows free speech stops at the border--and it's quite a technological feat that China can even enforce its Net border. Whether this rerouting is due to the Dalai Lama visit with President Bush or some other incident is irrelevant. The big question: Does this surprise anyone?
China is a country that censors heavily, removes blog posts at will, throws journalists in jail and cracks down on dissent in a heartbeat. And it's only going to get worse as China puts on its happy face in front of the Olympics next year.
In that context what's a little traffic rerouting?
Yet, the Googles, Microsofts and Yahoos of the world play ball by China's rule. And sometimes the traffic ball bounces in the wrong direction. Makes you wonder what happens if Google gains more market share in China doesn't it?