www.google.cn is toast…
Welcome to www.google.hk
I had thought for awhile that Google might pull something like this and try to keep their presence by bouncing off their uncensored .hk domain. I’m curious to see what happens next. Will www.google.com be blocked outright on the Mainland? (it was intermittently blocked in the past) and what will that mean for the .hk domain? Will internet controls be extended into Hong Kong because of a Google transfer?
* update – it’s official
So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.
Google also has a real-time tool highlighting the status of all of their services in China. As of 21 March 2010:
Like I’ve said before, I think that Google services an essential tool if one wants to be part of the global conversation. Right now, it looks like .hk is maintaining that tool for the Mainland…but it could very well just suffer the same fate as .com or .cn.
At the risk of sounding sensationalist sensationalist to say, the Great Fire Wall is looking more like the 21st century equivalent of the Iron Curtain.