Why China won and Google lost

Why China won and Google lost

Summary: The company's fate was sealed in March, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the issue was "really between Google and China."

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TOPICS: Google, China
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Forget the fig leaf of the Hong Kong work-around. China beat down Google, because Google got no support from its government for uncensored search.

Chief legal officer David Drummond confirmed the news in a brief update to his June 28 blog post describing the Hong Kong move.

CEO Eric Schmidt crowed at a CEO conference yesterday he was "confident" Google would "win" renewal of its license to operate, and it did.

But here's the deal. The Google.cn home page now offers only a link to its "uncensored" Hong Kong site, but those searches are easily traced and China's firewall can then censor the results. Services other than search are still run out of China.

No Google user searching in the Chinese language can thus access information about anything the government decides, on its whim, the people should not know about. That was the government's position all along. That position has been upheld.

The price of greater freedom, for Chinese researchers, will be intimate knowledge of both English and the techniques needed to bypass the firewall with anonymizers and remote proxies. A few will do that, but not enough to be matter, and those who do will live in constant fear of the knock at the door.

The company's fate was sealed in March, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the issue was "really between Google and China." Everything since has been a negotiation of terms.

The importance of what has happened here, in my view, should not be underestimated. The position of both China and the U.S. is now that governments are sovereign over Internet services provided inside their borders. So long as relations between governments are normal, the Internet can freely be balkanized and censored, its users controlled in the name of "national security."

Topics: Google, China

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  • Not a real issue...

    This isn't a real issue as Hillary and Company won't be in there beyond 2012 and then Google will have won the war even if they lost a few battles along the way.
    slickjim
    • RE: Why China won and Google lost

      @Peter Perry I suspect the view that nations are sovereign over the Internet, and all Internet companies, may be more bipartisan than you think. Or have you forgotten the Bush Administration's soaking up of all Internet traffic in order to find "terrarists?"
      DanaBlankenhorn
      • riiiiiiight

        ....and just paved the way for the current administration for the final hammer strike so they can finish the job? <br><br>whatever man. lol
        pcguy777
      • RE: Why China won and Google lost

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        Juliety
      • RE: Why China won and Google lost

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    • RE: Why China won and Google lost

      @Peter Perry Yeah cause Google is renowned for their support of the RNC and GOP candidates.
      hawks5999
      • Google Supported Obama; gets what it paid for.

        @hawks5999 Hit the nail on the head dude. Google got exactly what it paid for.
        Too Old For IT
      • RE: Why China won and Google lost

        Any company that has any sense in the least bit would not support the Democrats or Republicans since they are both full of crap.
        hito_kiri
    • RE: Why China won and Google lost

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    • RE: Why China won and Google lost

      @Peter Perry

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      runeklan
  • you got it wrong

    [but those searches are easily traced and China?s firewall can then censor the results.]
    Good luck censoring the results China!
    The OSS freedom fighters defeated the evil commies again!
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Why China won and Google lost

      @Linux Geek Somehow that sounds like the corporatists have defeated the free market capitalists.
      hawks5999
  • RE: Why China won and Google lost

    China is censoring the internet? Really???? They are a COMMUNIST REGIME! Why do people expect anything else from China and think that somehow our system of laws and government should extend to countries all around the world. Sure, freedom of information on the internet is sometimes a good thing(sometimes its not), but internet laws are not universal and are rights are only granted by the government that is in control of the "pipes". It will only get worse once all of the electronic production is controlled in China and they start embedding hidden controls in the switching hardware that can be accessed remotely via their government spy network.
    smartin007
    • RE: Why China won and Google lost

      @smartin007 China is as communist as Britain is monarchist. China today is a Mandarin state, increasingly corporatist.
      DanaBlankenhorn
      • RE: Why China won and Google lost

        @DanaBlankenhorn I could not agree more. Glad i wasn't the only one seeing it. :)
        striker67
      • False arguments won't win you the argument...

        <i>China is as communist as Britain is monarchist. China today is a Mandarin state, increasingly corporatist.</i>

        Nice attempt at spinning the issue, but, though Britain has a phony-baloney Monarchy with no political power, the Chinese government does have full power and control over its people.

        The idea that the Chinese have turned a little bit towards capitalism doesn't change their basic communist rule and total control over its population. In the UK, the people still enjoy far more freedoms than the people in China would even dream of getting.

        Your comparisons, as usual, are completely baseless and clueless.
        adornoe
      • RE: Why China won and Google lost

        @DanaBlankenhorn
        You are right, there has NEVER been a communist state anywhere.
        Communism is a myth, because ordinary humans can't cooperate with each other long enough to make it work.
        What you US Americans call "communism" is actually "Totalitarian Socialism".

        China is now a "Totalitarian Corporate State".
        The Red Army has shares in companies all around the World.
        lehnerus2000
    • I think you are wrong ...

      @smartin007 ... the Chinese government started losing it's stranglehold on its people with the demonstrations in Tianenmen Square all those years ago. That was the first skirmish in a long war for personal freedom in China. As China moves into the Twenty-First Century government control will contine to trickle away.

      The allure of the US dollar and a wordwide need for low-cost labor is irresistable to China. The Chinese people are suddenly "rich" by their own standards and they will demand access to information. It will take decades but the Chinese government will never again have the control over its people that it once had. The statkes are just too high for them to returnd to the old days.
      M Wagner
      • RE: Why China won and Google lost

        @mwagner@... You're naive at best. You may mean well but a people that cannot fight back will always be ruled.
        blueskip