A sad day for Internet freedoms in China

If this were any other country you wouldn’t believe it but the Great Firewall of China has started re-directing traffic from the three major search engines (Yahoo!, Live.com and Google) to the Chinese owned search engine Baidu.com!

Other sites such as YouTube.com and Google’s BlogSearch are reportedly also being re-directed.

China has previously blocked sites like WordPress.com but this is the first report of it re-directing to a Chinese competitor.

I’ll bet the guys in Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft who bent over backwards to facilitate the Chinese governments censorship of Chinese Internet traffic (even to the point of Yahoo!’s handing over evidence which imprisoned a Chinese reporter for 10 years) are feeling pretty dumb now. If they don’t, they should.

This end result for people living in China is that their choice of search engine has now disappeared and the Chinese government only has to worry about controlling the results one search engine displays. A sad day for Internet freedoms in China.

Of course, it will also hit the income stream for Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! but given that they lay down with the Chinese government, I have a real hard time feeling sorry for them.

UPDATE – conflicting reports are emerging about this story, some are reporting that the story is untrue however, search engine expert Danny Sullivan has received confirmation from Google that there are problems with some of their services in China.

6 thoughts on “A sad day for Internet freedoms in China”

  1. The story seems to be another hoax like so many before. None of the China-based bloggers is writing about it and I have no problems here in Shanghai to get to the search engines.

  2. Our Hong Kong student in Tipperary Institute says this story is a rehashing of an old meme that seems to get link traction whenever it resurfaces. I don’t think the main point–Google banned from search–can be verified because our native Chinese cannot confirm the story and Blognation seems to have the reach the same conclusion: link baiting.

  3. Hoax. I would look at the various ISPs in question from where they are currently surfing. From my experience over there depending on the ISP you are with, various sites can be blocked at a regional level and also at a national level. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few ISPs had changed the route but it is not done with the backing of the Chinese netnanny of the GFC.

    As for this being a form of retaliation with the award a certain leader of Tibet received from GWB, complete bullshit!

  4. Regardless of hoax or not, we all look at china and say , look how bad they have it, they are taking away peoples right to information and censoring the internet…

    People forget to look closer to home.

    It wasn;t long ago that britain wanted to censor peoples blogs to stop cyber terrorism.. what is classes as cyber terrorism , anybody that has an opinion other than the government agenda.

    apart from that the whole US battle against net neutrality will likely lead to a form of Internet censorship disabling the freedom of expression we enjoy at the moment!

  5. I have been complaining these for almost an eternity here in China and even discuss often with my Chinese colleagues but they always say every country would do this and I would always say no, it’s only China.

    here’s one post i’d written before:
    http://www.kotsengkuba.com/2007/10/21/when-the-portals-open-for-blogspot-it-close-doors-for-youtube-and-wordpress/

    and here’s how i manage to get away with them:
    http://www.kotsengkuba.com/2007/11/02/kotsengkuba-blasted-the-great-wall/

    but i never experienced to be redirected to baidu though they google search results are somehow filtered. i made some comparison with my wife while she’s in the philippines and the difference is really enourmous 😉

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