According to the article, the new Chinese version of the Google search engine:
will not allow users to create personal links with Google e-mail or blog sites, will comply with Chinese law and censor information deemed inappropriate or illegal by the Chinese authorities
One of the reasons Google is hobbling its own technology in China is that Google.com is losing ground in the search market in China to Baidu.com – a Chinese search engine due to government censorship on some of Google.com’s content. A pre-censored Google.cn should have no such issues.
Google will argue that it is not putting profit before human rights – it is merely complying with the law of the land it wants to make profits in (they might not use that terminology exactly!) – the same as all the other major tech suppliers working in China (Cisco, Yahoo!, MSN, etc.). However, if these companies worked together, they could flout the repressive laws in China and theree would be little the Chinese Government could do against such a united front from their most important IT suppliers.
The price of doing business in China? You have to be prepared to sell your soul.
Google’s motto of “Do no Evil” should now be changed to “Do no Evil (unless it interferes with the bottom line)”, I guess!