This is all over the internet already, but just in case my readers haven’t heard the news (exceedingly unlikely I know…), Google has moved to close it’s China website, redirecting users to the ’open’ website based in Hong Kong, as reported in a post on their official blog. Google points out this will mean that China is open to blocking the new Hong Kong-based site. It sounds almost like ’dare you.’
Google have created a web page that presents a simplified summary of what internet services are currently available in China, which they say they will periodically update. You will notice that YouTube and Blogger are marked as blocked.
Other sources point to that in China Google faced strong competition from a local counterpart, Baidu.com, and that the China operation is a small part of Google’s total takings, balancing this against that Google risk losing a potentially large market in the longer term. (It would be interesting to understand the popularity of the Chinese competitor.)
Stories covering this can be found at Google’s blog, the New York Times, the BBC, and–according to Google news–at 1,111 other places. (Well, at the time I looked; it’s grown since. Good timing on my part to get the four ones lined up…)
On a side note, I wish newspapers would cite their internet sources. Provide links. This is the internet, right? It’s silly to have to track down a source through searching on the quoted passages.