GlobeTracker| When the British left Hong Kong in 1997, Beijing agreed to leave Hong Kong’s capitalist economy and free press intact for another 50 years. Google Inc. followed through today on its promise to stop censoring search results in China by forwarding all Google traffic to Google.com.hk.
The ball is now in China’s court, to see if it will block all Google Internet out of Hong Kong. As an example, any references to “Tiananmen Square massacre” now come up on Google HK. Technically, the terms of the agreement with the British don’t permit a shutdown.
“We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered — combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the Web in China including the persistent blocking of Web sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger — had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on google.cn,” Google said today on the blog. via Business Week
Tues. Mar. 23 update: Google Faces Fallout via NYTimes
Update, China disabled previously censored Google searches out of Hong Kong.The biggest fallout is coming from pending cellular communications deals:
China’s biggest cellular communications company, China Mobile, was expected to cancel a deal that had placed Google’s search engine on its mobile Internet home page, used by millions of people daily. In interviews, business executives close to industry officials said the company was planning to scrap the deal under government pressure, despite the fact that China Mobile has yet to contract with a replacement.
Similarly, China’s second-largest mobile company, China Unicom, was said by analysts and others to have delayed or killed the imminent introduction of a cellphone based on Google’s Android platform. One major Internet portal, Tom.com, already had ceased using Google to power its search engine.