Technology > Internet > Search engines > Google
Google > Freedom of speech > Censorship > China
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122580343 - January 14,
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5172204 - January 25,
Google censors itself for China
Wednesday, 25 January 2006
Leading internet company Google has said it will censor its
search services in China in order to gain greater access to China's fast-growing
Google has offered a Chinese-language version of its search
engine for years but users have been frustrated by government blocks on the
The company is setting up a new site - Google.cn - which it will censor itself
to satisfy the authorities in Beijing.
Google argued it would be more damaging to pull out of China altogether.
Critics warn the new version could restrict access to thousands of sensitive
terms and web sites. Such topics are likely to include independence for Taiwan
and the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
The Chinese government keeps a tight rein on the internet and what users can
access. The BBC news site is inaccessible, while a search on Google.cn for the
banned Falun Gong spiritual movement directs users to a string of condemnatory
Google's move in China comes less than a week after it resisted efforts by the
US Department of Justice to make it disclose data on what people were searching
Google hopes its new address will make the search engine easier to use and
Its e-mail, chat room and blogging services will not be available because of
concerns the government could demand users' personal information.
Google said it planned to notify users when access had been restricted on
certain search terms.
The company argues it can play a more useful role in China by participating than
by boycotting it, despite the compromises involved.
"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," a statement said.
Julian Pain, internet spokesman for campaign group Reporters Without Borders,
said Google's decision to "collaborate" with the Chinese government was "a real
The number of internet search users in China is predicted to increase from about
100 million currently to 187 million in two years' time.
A survey last August revealed Google was losing market share to Beijing-based
Last year, Yahoo was accused of supplying data to China that was used as
evidence to jail a Chinese journalist for 10 years.
Google censors itself
Last Updated: Wednesday,
25 January 2006,
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