Despite compromise, Google partially blocked in China

Search giant says service in China is hindered, just as license up for renewal

Just one day after Google made a major effort to work with the Chinese government , the search firm reported that its service is being partially blocked in China.

Google reported on its status update page for the company's services in China that its online search service began being partially blocked today. Google search had been fully or mostly accessible until today.

Google did not immediately respond to requests for information.

The blockage comes just one day after Google tried to placate Chinese officials by saying it would no longer automatically redirect search traffic from China to its Hong Kong search engine . Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond said in a blog post late on Monday that China had threatened not to renew its license to operate in China if the automatic redirect was not removed.

Google's Internet Content Provider (ICP) license is up for renewal today.

"Looks like there's just no making China happy," said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. "Yesterday, Google stopped re-routing domestic China searches through Hong Kong, which should make China happier. But no. They thank Google with an upraised middle finger of friendship and new blocks on Google's searches."

Google executives are hoping to hear today whether the Chinese government accepts its compromise move and will renew Google's license to continue doing business in the country.

Without a license, Google would go dark in China.

In an interview on Tuesday, Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, said that while Google's move amounts to caving in to Chinese officials, the company's executives had few alternatives if they wanted to continue doing business in China.

"They really have no choice if they want to stay in that region," Enderle said. "That was the problem of taking a position the company could not sustain. You don't fight governments. Google had a choice: Capitulate or leave. They capitulated."

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Tags governmentregulationinternetGooglesearch enginesInternet SearchGov't Legislation/Regulation

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Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
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