SciTechBlog   « Back to Blog Main
March 24, 2010

Tech 101: What you need to know about Google vs. China

Posted: 12:39 PM ET

Tech news is complicated enough. But throw in some international relations and a heavy dose of spying allegations, and you've got yourself a news story that plenty of people talk about, but few people really understand.

That's the Google vs. China story in a nutshell. But don't check out just yet. This blog is here to help, with answers to several important (and easy-to-digest) questions about the Google-China situation.

Let me know if there are further confusions you'd like to have cleared up. And, if you decide to whip some of these facts out at your next cocktail party, report back on how it goes.

When did Google go into China, and why?

On January 27, 2006, some eight years after Google first incorporated, the San Francisco, California-based search engine decided to launch, a Chinese version of its Web site. Google's global Web site - - had been available in China before that, but it was censored and at times shut down by the Chinese government. It didn't work very well.

China's communist leadership restricts Internet content and political speech, so Google had to agree to censor some of its Internet search results in order to do business in China.

Still, the company argued that its presence in China would help open up the system over time. And the company said its search engine would work better if Google, rather than China, did the filtering.

"Our decision was based on a judgment that will make a meaningful - though imperfect - contribution to the overall expansion of access to information in China," Elliot Schrage, Google's then-VP of communications, testified in 2006.

Are there financial reasons for Google to be in China, too?

Of course. China has more Web users than any other country in the world - nearly 400 million of them, according to the latest reports. So there is definitely money to be made in China. Google made $300 million in China last year alone, according to CNNMoney. And the Chinese Internet market is expected to grow considerably as the Asian country continues to industrialize.

What happened this week? Did Google pull out of China?

Not exactly. Google said it would stop filtering search results in China. It accomplished this with a logistical change: Search results from mainland China now are directed to, a Hong Kong site that isn't filtered, instead of, which Google stopped filtering on Monday.

Many people assume China will block Google's unfiltered site. But Google's move put that decision in the Chinese government's hands. The search engine posted a chart, which has been dubbed the "evil meter," where people can see which Google services are currently blocked in China.

As of Wednesday morning, the chart said Web searches remained active in China.

What changed to make Google stop going along with Chinese censorship laws?

Google says Chinese hackers tapped into the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists and conducted a "highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure." China denies these claims, but the situation caused Google to promise to stop censoring its results in China unless some kind of new agreement could be arranged between Google and China.

Here's what the company said in a blog post this January:

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered - combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web - have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.

Why would it be a big deal for Google not to be in China?

Some say it could sour U.S.-China relations, although a spokesman for China's foreign ministry says this will not be the case. Others say it could reduce access to information and Web services in China. But one caveat there: Google is not the dominant search engine in China. A site called Baidu is.

There are obvious implications for Google's financial future if it, indeed, does not have a strong foothold in the largest market of Internet searchers in the world. And some analysts says the move could cause China to withdraw further from the Internet and from the globalizing world.

Do regular people in China care about whether Google is there or not?

Academics and business types have complained that their work will become more difficult without Google's search site around. National Public Radio reports that Chinese citizens are referring to Monday, the day Google stopped censoring in China, as "G Day," an apparent reference to the D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II.

One professor told NPR that Google has "overestimated its importance" in China. "As a researcher and an English-speaking person, I use Google English a lot. But for most Chinese netizens, they don't care about Google Chinese version," Deng Jianguo, an associate professor at Fudan University, told the news organization.

Does Google censor Web content in other countries?

In a word: Yes. Google caters its search site to censorship and privacy laws of countries where it operates. CNNMoney has a good round-up of some of these rules. Among them: In Germany, France and Poland, it's illegal to publish material that denies the Holocaust. So Google filters search results that do so. And in Turkey, videos that the government says mock "Turkishness," are filtered by Google for its Web site.

That story also provides an important detail about why Google's censorship policies are important:

Google controls nearly two-thirds of the world's search results, making it the Internet gateway for most people. As a result of that clout, Google's censorship policies are closely watched.

Posted by:
Filed under: China • Google

Share this on:
먹튀검증사이트   June 29th, 2021 10:52 pm ET

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I have you book marked to look at new things you postÖ

Sprinter Van Collision Repair   June 30th, 2021 12:55 am ET

Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to return yet again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

포항출장안마   June 30th, 2021 12:59 am ET

I need to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you book marked to look at new stuff you postÖ

RV Repair Santa Ana   June 30th, 2021 1:09 am ET

Excellent post. I will be experiencing some of these issues as well..

Sprinter Service Repair   June 30th, 2021 2:21 am ET

Spot on with this write-up, I really believe this website needs a great deal more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the info!

bombdropsvapor.Com   June 30th, 2021 6:52 am ET

Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

Nearby RV Repair   June 30th, 2021 7:16 am ET

_______   June 30th, 2021 7:45 am ET

My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using WordPress on various
websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform.
I have heard good things about Is there a way I
can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any help
would be greatly appreciated!

2500 Sprinter Van Repair   June 30th, 2021 7:50 am ET

Carin Owczarzak   June 30th, 2021 11:35 am ET

Citizen has an substantial collection of watches, mainly concentrating on sporting activities and pilot watches. They are split into 5 categories (Diving, Pilot, Efficiency, Ladies, Executive) which we'll take a closer look at below. One of Citizen's newest versions is the Nighthawk, which is limited to just 300 pieces. The production of this watch follows the success of the previous year's Citizen Nighthawk bronze design, which sold out quickly.

Lora Gauthier   June 30th, 2021 11:50 am ET

Citizen has an extensive collection of watches, mainly focusing on sporting activities as well as pilot watches. They are separated into five categories (Diving, Pilot, Efficiency, Ladies, Exec) which we'll take a closer look at below. Among Citizen's most current models is the Nighthawk, which is limited to just 300 pieces. The development of this watch follows the success of the previous year's Citizen Nighthawk bronze version, which sold out promptly.

RV Repair Shop Near My Location   June 30th, 2021 11:52 am ET

RV Repairs Nearby   June 30th, 2021 12:22 pm ET

Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

먹튀사이트   June 30th, 2021 12:58 pm ET

Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to revisit once again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

sosyal medya haberleri   July 21st, 2021 5:53 pm ET

instagram ve sosyal medya haberleri

Reberz   July 21st, 2021 9:54 pm ET

Thank you for this article

iguanabey   July 31st, 2021 4:50 pm ET

Thanks for this very good info

Emely Cartner   August 1st, 2021 5:51 am ET

great blog thank you

Garantili Medyum   August 5th, 2021 3:05 pm ET

En İyi Medyum, Garantili Medyum, Geri Getirme Büyüsü, Papaz Büyüsü, Aşk Büyüsü, Majisyen, Medyum Koray Zerdek

haberler gündem   August 11th, 2021 1:40 pm ET

nice blog thanks

download mod apk   August 18th, 2021 4:40 pm ET

Download mod apk thanks for this. Best apk site

grup sosyal   September 9th, 2021 12:18 pm ET

The fish listened intently to what the frogs had to say.

istanbul ilanlar   September 18th, 2021 3:02 pm ET

It dawned on her that others could make her happier, but only she could make herself happy.

Tawny Jerido   September 19th, 2021 5:48 am ET

I must show my thanks to the writer just for rescuing me from such a situation. Just after surfing throughout the world wide web and seeing methods that were not productive, I was thinking my entire life was gone. Existing without the answers to the problems you've solved as a result of your entire short article is a crucial case, and those that would have adversely damaged my entire career if I hadn't come across the blog. Your good ability and kindness in handling all the stuff was very useful. I'm not sure what I would have done if I hadn't encountered such a thing like this. I can also now look forward to my future. Thanks for your time so much for the professional and sensible help. I will not hesitate to propose your blog post to anybody who should receive care about this area.

beylikduzu escort   September 23rd, 2021 3:43 am ET

bitcoin news   September 24th, 2021 3:44 am ET

It turns out you don't need all that stuff you insisted you did.

Alanya Burak Halı Yıkama   April 22nd, 2022 1:24 pm ET

Alanya’nın Lider Halı Yıkama Firması. Alanya halı yıkama fiyatları arasında en uygun olanı! Yılların vermiş olduğu tecrübemiz ile halı ve koltuk yıkama başta olmak üzere birçok temizlik hizmeti sunmaktayız.

alanya halı yıkama, alanya halı yıkama fiyat

cyo 閃電狼   September 19th, 2022 6:52 am ET



Miguel Nail   November 20th, 2022 7:18 am ET

Training and concentrating on areas most impacted by fatty tissue can generate great results. Consider working and biking to clear yourhips and hips, and hips.

Leave Your Comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

subscribe RSS Icon
About this blog

Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.

subscribe RSS Icon
Powered by VIP