Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Will Google’s Newest Compromise Appease China?

Can Google stay in China without censoring its search results? The company has been trying to do so for the past three months. But that may be ending soon. Or not.

Since March, Google (GOOG) has been automatically routing visitors from Google.cn, its official Chinese landing page, to Google.com.hk, where it runs an uncensored search engine based in Hong Kong. But the search giant says China wants to put a stop to that end run.

New solution: Instead of an automatic redirect, Google will add a button linking Google.cn users to the Hong Kong site.

It’s hard to see how this can appease Chinese authorities. But then again, it’s a bit amazing that China allowed Google to get away with the redirect in the first place. As Joesph Tartakoff notes, China has the ability to shut the whole thing down whenever it wants, but hasn’t done so yet. Which is a good reason to take any public pronouncements on the matter, from either side, with big chunks of salt.