The ongoing tussle between Google and Chinese Government over the web search censorship issue gain in intensity on Monday, with the search engine behemoth decided to cease search filtering by re-routing the Chinese traffic to its uncensored servers in Hong Kong.
This blatant move from the US-based search company in fact would thrash the Chinese Government’s attempts to control online search in the country, and henceforth could result in the search giant being frozen out altogether in the Chinese market.
Google has been threatening to pull out of the market that has the largest number of internet users, due to the continuous pressure from the state for web search filtering.
Eventually, the search giant has taken a bold move by shutting down its China-based website and redirecting traffic to servers in Hong Kong; one which wouldn't substantially affect its bottom line.
Chinese authorities slammed the move by Google, and alleged that the company has reneged on the written promise it made about web search filtering while entering the Chinese authorities. However, Google, in response to the Chinese Government’s reaction, said that the move is ‘entirely legal’.
Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, wrote in a blog post: “It's entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China.”
China accounts only for a fraction of Google's overall revenue. Yet many might see in Google's decision to pull out of China an admission of its own failures. Shares in the company have fallen marginally since last week while that of Chinese Rival Baidu went up by nearly half since the beginning of the year.