Last updated: March 24, 2010 - 8:26am
[Commentary] Doing business in China just got a lot harder.
The country's overbearing government slapped on the cyber-handcuffs when Google tried launching a free-and-open Web site from Hong Kong to replace its censored mainland version. Google deserves full credit for trying, but there was almost no good option, given Chinese intransigence. Beijing views the Google-style free flow of information as "the politicalization of commercial issues" and said the new unfiltered Web site was "totally wrong." The Google slap-down could be a turning point. Tough as Beijing sounds, it may not want to bring on a trade war, irritate some 800 million Internet users in its own country, and worsen its worldwide image. Beijing may not be done with Google yet. The firm carefully separated its research and ad sales teams from the Web site furor, hoping to maintain a presence in the world's biggest online market.
What China does next will be closely watched by American businesses as well as Washington.
- Google's Hong Kong question page blocked in China
- Google and the Great Firewall: An Interesting New Twist
- Google Faces Fallout as China Reacts to Site Shift
- Google's good deed in China
- Foreign Companies Chafe at China's Restrictions
- Google China Exit a U.S. Plot, State Researcher Says
- Google stops rerouting China's searches to Hong Kong site
- Google's Freedom Search
- Google tries a route around Chinese Web censorship
- China broadcaster transforms under pressure
- China cutting access to uncensored Google site
- Google adds Twitter feed in China, again defying that country's rules
- China Says U.S. Backsliding on Trade, Warns on Google
- Stance by China to Limit Google Is Risk by Beijing
- Google and China: What Obama can learn