Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
Google Inc. defied China’s self- censorship rules by redirecting mainland Chinese users to an unfiltered Hong Kong Web site, threatening its ability to operate in the world’s largest Internet market.
The move escalated a two-month dispute as the government said Google broke its promise and was “totally wrong,” according to the official Xinhua news agency. Google, which had censored results on the Chinese site since its 2006 debut, said yesterday it plans to keep its research operations in the mainland.
The U.S. government said it was “disappointed” Google and China failed to reach a compromise. The conflict has contributed to a deterioration in relations between the two countries, following disagreements over weapon sales to Taiwan and the valuation of the yuan.
“Google is playing a very dangerous game,” said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at business consultant Enderle Group in San Jose, California. “They could end up doing more damage than good.”