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Google Businesses Censorship China News

Report: Google Will Return To China 82

An anonymous reader writes: Google famously withdrew from mainland China in 2010 after fending off a series of cyberattacks from local sources. Now, according to a (paywalled) report from The Information, the company is working on plans to return. "As part of the deal Google is looking to strike, Google would follow the country's laws and block apps that the government objects to, one person told The Information." They're also seeking approval for a Chinese version of Google Play.
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Report: Google Will Return To China

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  • by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @08:10PM (#50460289)

    So I guess we can say google is Folding@Home?

    Seriously though the blockade should stand.

    • Re:Folding@Home (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tokolosh ( 1256448 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @08:12PM (#50460295)

      Is it evil to kowtow to evil?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Seriously though the blockade should stand.

      Leaving China was a mistake. Google's departure accomplished nothing. Google should be in China, to offer people an alternative, even if it is imperfect.

      • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

        Personally I felt they were better off using any one of the many ways to access the uncensored google from china. Which they had to do if they wanted to use google.

        Now they will have the choice between Crippled engine A and Govt run index B.

        They are probably going to use the crippled engine now even if they had a way around before just because its easier.

        • Now they will have the choice between Crippled engine A and Govt run index B.

          They can still access Google outside China by using a VPN. Since porn is censored in China, nearly every post-pubescent male already has access to a working VPN.

          • Re:Folding@Home (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @09:18PM (#50460601)
            Pretty much.

            Seriously, if I wanted to run an authoritarian regime restricting internet content, there are certain things that would be absolutely left unblocked, namely porn and cat memes/videos.
          • They can still access Google outside China by using a VPN.

            We've got faculty who regularly travel to China - their access to our university VPN service is routinely interfered with.

            • Re:Folding@Home (Score:4, Interesting)

              by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @09:55PM (#50460707)

              We've got faculty who regularly travel to China - their access to our university VPN service is routinely interfered with.

              They should ask some teenage boys for help. It also makes a huge difference where they are in China. Censorship is very heavy in Beijing, but much lighter in Shanghai and even lighter in smaller cities. It is heavy in Tibet, but much lighter in Xinjiang. That is because Westerners care about the Tibetans because Brad Pitt and Richard Gere made movies about them. But Westerners don't give a crap about the Uighurs.

            • Are you sure? I've been to China multiple times. Some observations:
              - OpenVPN connections are killed at the handshake. Workaround is hide the handshake; there are multiple ways to do this.
              - SSH (allows tunneling) worked fine when I was there this summer. One time, in 2014, it seemed to degrade over time. But this probably was just been my imagination, because of the following:

              CHINA'S INTERNATIONAL PEERING SUCKS ASS. It doesn't matter if you have a T1 at home: international connections are going to be s

        • by trabby ( 4123953 )
          The funny thing about China is although they have workarounds for much of the government censorship is that they don't bother.

          It has to do with internal communication between citizens, they don't go on Facebook not because they can't but because none of their network is there.

          They only work around the censorship when needed for relations with other countries.

          Same goes for using Google services. Google needs a presence there to get some mind share from the populace, even if it is heavily censored.
          • Yes, China beat the network effect problem by:

                1. Jumping in early
                2. Ruthlessly blocking competition

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Kind of important is the headline is misleading and factually incorrect. It states that Google will return to China. If the summary is accurate they are researching returning to China and have not yet concluded that this is their definite course of action. A more accurate headline would be that Google is considering a return to China.

    • if the Chinese won't allow free internet access, Google should not be there.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Why not?

    • So I guess we can say google is Folding@Home?

      It didn't get a lot of press, but Google folded to China a couple years ago [businessinsider.com].

  • by John Jorsett ( 171560 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @08:17PM (#50460311)
    I guess it's too much to expect any company, even the "do no evil" one, to stand up for principle when there's so much money at stake.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Godwin's law struck pretty fast on this one.

    • I guess it's too much to expect any company, even the "do no evil" one, to stand up for principle when there's so much money at stake.

      Especially when it's doing absolutely no good. It made sense for Google to stand up to China when it appeared that there was a good chance they could win. But China won. The absence of Google's services did not cause the Chinese people to demand it, and the Great Firewall was successful at blocking and degrading Google's services enough that people largely don't bother. VPN services exist, but the Firewall makes them unreliable and short-lived solutions, so the Chinese just don't use Google much. And those

      • Yes there is something to be achieved. Clearly sticking to your principles prevents an apathetic drift to amorality, and sets an example for others to measure against. That is very valuable.
        • Perhaps, but there are plenty of cases in history where people stuck to their principles... right into the grave...

          Principles only matter if you have a chance to continue to use them and show them off, otherwise they aren't worth a hill of beans...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Google caved in europe based on laws and reasons passed there, even if not accepted in other places. China has its reasoning for censorship, even if not accepted in most other places.

      If Google disagreed with the reasoning for both, how are they supposed to act?

  • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @08:28PM (#50460367)
    Google also announced that they were taking their new time machine back a few years to get into the German market, promising Mr. Hitler that they would block any Jewish-related content.
  • Who is going to turn down that money? Please! Their little stunt made them look like idiots. Look, business is business, it's not a big stretch to *Orders are orders*..

    • by bob_super ( 3391281 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @08:38PM (#50460439)

      "money has no smell" Old proverb

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Lets say you manufacture a universal translator and you want to sell it in another country they already have a local manufacturer that produces a local version that happens to only support chinese simplified to chinese traditional and back.

      Now to sell your product in their country they require you to cripple your translator that works with any language to only make fart noises unless its chinese simplified to chinese traditional or vice versa.

      On one hand it opens you up to a large underserved market.
      On the

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But it's a fundamental property of corporations that they cannot have a heart. It doesn't matter how moral its founders or leadership were, economic realities dictate that a company must break every rule it can. If it does anything different due to moral concerns, it will have by definition deviated from the economically optimal course of action. Keep that up and it will be out-competed or swallowed by the competition.

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      Hobby Lobby.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Nope it's just reveals attributes of reality you don't happen to like.

        Other possible sources of disappointment:

        Google values revenue over freedom.

        Kim Davis thinks her religious freedom allows her to deny others theirs.

        Trump makes sense to over 20% of Republicans who are accessible to pollsters and willing to go on record.

        Mass market media fails to report on the dubious accuracy of current political polling efforts.

        Critical thinking skills are difficult to learn and harder to practice.

        The Free Market is conc

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @09:01PM (#50460523)
    old Vulcan paraphrase
  • Google turning their back on China didn't do much except cost them huge market share (Apple has been doing very well there). Because of all the blocks, an Android phone is almost a brick in China. Maybe they'll even fix Google maps [twitter.com] there.
  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday September 04, 2015 @10:03PM (#50460731)

    Unfortunately the ship has sailed for Google. The App store model relies on a monopoly on the phones. China is a country where everyone has an Android phone and none of them come with the Play Store. Instead there are many alternate stores catering specifically to the Chinese market with Chinese apps. Why would you want an app store to enter the market which no one can understand?

    • by _merlin ( 160982 )

      Best thing about Chinese internet access is all the fucking Google trackers are blocked without the need for browser extensions. It's annoying if you're accessing a site that loads jQuery from the Google APIs server as you might have to wait for the request to time out before it will display. Seriously though, why do people even do this? Is it really that hard to host jQuery yourself?

      • The answer to that is easy. Google has far more bandwidth so by linking to them not only do you decrease your own server load but your users can also access the content faster. Speaking of, there's every chance that your user already has cached the jQuery copy from Google so they may not be downloading anything new at all.

        Centralising APIs do offer advantages.

  • Time to update to Google's new, super sleek san serif logo.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've been living in China for 3 years now (close to Shanghai in Jaingsu province).

    I try to spread the word about VPN's to friends here. I've offered to help them get prepaid credit cards to pay anonymously to western service providers.

    They don't care. They don't see any value in it. They don't care about Google, Facebook, YouTube because they have their own stuff which is better for them.

    They know their news sources lie and that's bjust how it is. I know one Chinese guy (one) that uses a western VPN (As

    • They know their news sources lie

      If only more westerners were prepared to accept that.

  • I mean, this kind of PR event is meaningless after PRISM.

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