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China hijacks Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! traffic?

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It looks like China is hijacking web traffic from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!.

This morning, TechCrunch reported that at least one China-based visitor to Google Blog Search was redirected to Baidu, a search engine born and bred in the Far East, and the Silicon Valley uber-blog soon tossed up a second post that said much the same thing was happening with Microsoft and Yahoo! domains.

Similar reports have popped up in the past. In 2002, Reuters suggested that one of the country's largest ISPs, China Telecom, was rerouting Google traffic under pressure from government authorities.

When we contacted Google, the company confirmed that the Chinese are up to their old tricks. "We've had numerous reports that Google.cn and other search engines have been blocked in China and traffic redirected to other sites," said a company spokesman. "While this is clearly unfortunate, we've seen this happen before and are confident that service will be restored to our users in the very near future."

Microsoft told us it was "looking into the matter." And Yahoo! has yet to respond to our request for comment.

TechChonch claimed that the Google Blog Search redirect occurred over an internet connection provided by China Netcom, a China Telecom competitor. Meanwhile, it pointed to posts on other blogs and online forums that said traffic was being hijacked from Yahoo.com and various sub-sites as well as Microsoft's Live.com. ®

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