Google Going to Abide by Chinese Law Whether Google Likes It or Not
Well, that didn’t take long at all. China parried Google’s challenge to its control of the Internet this morning, limiting access to the search giant’s unfiltered Hong Kong site. Multiple reports out of China today claim Beijing is restricting access to Google.com.hk and blocking searches on a sensitive queries.
Evidently, clicking on a contentious query more than a few times invites a block that requires users to restart their browsers in order to regain access to the site. So Google.com.hk, the uncensored site to which Google (GOOG) has been redirecting Chinese searchers, is still available in China, but it’s usefulness has obviously been undermined. Oddly, Google’s Mainland China Service Availability page doesn’t seem to have noticed this yet.
Meanwhile, Tom.com stopped using Google to power its searches, and rumors are beginning to circulate that some of the country’s mobile operators are reconsidering plans to launch new phones running on Google’s Android OS.
Reached for comment, Google didn’t have much to offer: “It seems that certain sensitive queries are being blocked,” a spokesperson told me. “However, the Google.com.hk site is not currently being blocked.”