Feeds

Google kowtows to China

How low can you go?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Google has been basking in good publicity from refusing US government demands to hand over search results but in China it is happy to create a search engine based on government specifications.

Google will offer a censored version of its search engine running on servers in China. It will remove results on "sensitive" topics like human rights and Tibet. The decision would not seem so bad coming from another company but Google used to pride itself on the morality of its business strategy and devotion to free speech.

Andrew McLaughlin, Google's senior policy counsel, said: "In order to operate from China, we have removed some content from the search results available on Google.cn in response to local law, regulation or policy."

"While removing search results is inconsistent with Google's mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with our mission."

Google will offer web and image searches, local search and Google news. More on Reuters here.

The search giant will not offer its email or blogging services. Rival portal operations from Yahoo! and Microsoft have attracted controversy recently with Yahoo!'s decision to hand over personal details of a disident journalist and Microsoft's removal of certain words (democracy, freedom) from the Chinese version of MSN.

Reporters Without Borders accused the search giant of hypocrisy pointing out that it defends its US users against government action but will not offer Chinese users the same protection. More here.

Baidu.com is the local Nasdaq-listed rival to Google.

This is not the first time Google has kowtowed to government. This blog points out that Google Germany blocks access to a body modification (think extreme piercing) website in response to a request from the German government.

In other repressive bastards news Iran is blocking access to the BBC's Persian service for the first time - more details here.®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.