Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been in an 18-month battle with Chinese authorities over censorship issues involving Google Search terms, but it seems that a mega-tech company may not be big enough to fight any longer, as it seems that Google is raising the white flag of surrender.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), with no fanfare, removed a warning message that it provided on its search pages for Chinese citizens who conducted searches, making this decision after receiving many reports of users being blocked from accessing certain web sites after they use search terms that were not considered "politically sensitive" by the Chinese government.
It seems that the blocking of searches was going beyond political terms. As a couple examples, "Yangtze River" and "Jiangsu Mobile" - a Chinese phone service - were search terms that prompted blocks from the Chinese government, denying users access to many parts of the Internet.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) had worked with Chinese authorities to develop a list of politically sensitive terms that would prompt blocking, and Google posted a warning message for users who used any of these controversial terms, alerting them to the likelihood of having access to Web sites blocked. But now that the Chinese government is branching out its censorship, Google dropped the warning by saying that it was "counterproductive" to continue fighting the battle, though the company has been trying to find a work-around, according to sources.
In a related note, the news about Google's surrender came at the same time that censorship monitoring site Great Fire released results of tests the site conducted on search in China. The report can be seen here.
As of 3:10 p.m. ET Friday, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) stock was up 2.3 percent on the day to about $740.40 per share.
Some of this also comes from recent moves by the Communist Party. What in the world did the Communist Party do recently to get Google's goat once and for all?
The ruling Communists in China have cracked down further on Internet users in China by requiring Internet users to identify themselves to service providers, which opponents claim would severely curb freedom of speech in the country. The Chinese government had already come down on virtual private networks (VPNs) which had allowed users to surf the Web anonymously.
What do you think? Can Google Inc. (NASDA:GOOG) continue to grow in China and overall with this blockade? How do you think this will affect Google going forward if it is having trouble connecting with Chinese citizens? We'd like your feedback below.
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