Two months after announcing to leave China due to Chinese government’s censorship policy and amount of highly sophisticated hack attacks from mainland to Gmail accounts, Google said earlier today that it stopped censoring its Chinese search services and redirected Chinese users to Google.com.hk.
Google also said it would retain much of its existing China operations, including its R&D team and local sales force, but the scale depends on the ability mainland Chinese users to access the Hong Kong-based site.
“Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard,” David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, wrote in the blog post. “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.”
Soon after Google’s announcement, State Council Information Office responded and scolded that the company must comply with the China law.
Already, before Google’s January announcement, authorities were blocking its YouTube and Blogger sites. “We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision,” Mr. Drummond said, “though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services.”