Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Google Goes To China

...and kow-tows.

Google launched a Chinese version of its search engine - with censored results. From
Google Inc. launched a search engine in China on Wednesday that censors material about human rights, Tibet and other topics sensitive to Beijing _ defending the move as a trade-off granting Chinese greater access to other information.

Within minutes of the launch of the new site bearing China's Web suffix ".cn," searches for the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement showed scores of sites omitted and users directed to articles condemning the group posted on Chinese government Web sites.

Searches for other sensitive subjects such as exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, Taiwan independence, and terms such as "democracy" and "human rights" yielded similar results.

In most such cases, only official Chinese government sites or those with a ".cn" suffix were included.

Google, which has as it's motto "Don't Be Evil," says the new site aims to make its search engine more accessible in China, thereby expanding access to information.
Basically, it's outsourcing - Google is doing China's censorship work for them.

I realize that any businessman sees China's billion-person market and starts drooling. But I can't help but wonder if the deal you have to make with the devil to access that market - especially considering how easily it can be taken away - is really worth the price.

An aside:
Jonah Goldberg at NRO has a bit more.


At 9:48 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

It will only be a matter of time before people learn how to find the info some other way. I would be willing to bet that the Chinese government won't be able to censor so completely for very long.


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