Cornwall ON – Could you imagine a single company straining relations between two of the World’s super powers? That seems to be exactly what’s happening as Google is defying China’s censorship laws by directing Chinese viewers to Google’s search engine in Honk Kong according to media reports.
China had an estimated 384 million Internet users at the end of 2009, more than the total U.S. population. Baidu Inc. held 58.6 percent of China’s online search market last quarter, compared with 35.6 percent for Google, according to Analysys International, a Beijing-based technology research company.
“It’s very likely that Google.com.hk will be blocked at least as aggressively as Google.com was and, more likely, probably more aggressively,” said Ben Schachter, an analyst at Broadpoint AmTech Inc. in San Francisco.
It’s fascinating to watch the war between Google and China essentially unfold. Google suggested that it was hacked from within China. Initially the company negotiated an agreement to self-censor, but chose to go another route.
Google is essentially positioning itself to be the leader in the right to have freedom of speech on the internet which some analysts suggest will be good for their bottom line even at the expense of losing business in the world’s largest internet market.
What do you think? Is this just smoke and politics? Is this a real deal issue? Post your comments below.
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