After speculation last week of Google leaving China sometime next month, the search engine company says they have found a legal way to keep Google in China without having to leave the country. In a blog post on the company’s website, Google said that internet users visiting Google.cn will now be redirected to Google’s Hong Kong site, google.com.hk.
…earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk.
They expect with the higher traffic rates that the site will run slower than normal. Even though the company has found a way around the Chinese law for now, the website could still be blocked.
We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.
The move is not the direction many were suspecting, but regardless it’s a good move on Google’s part. We will watch Google’s actions closely and bring you up to date with any updates.