China’s Google Decision: Careful Maneuver

It isn’t as bad as it looks, writes Asia Sentinel

The Chinese government’s decision to switch the Google search engine from China to Hong Kong is actually a carefully nuanced solution that allows both sides to save face, as Asia Sentinel forecast on Jan. 27.

When Google announced last week that it would no longer voluntarily censor its China content, as it had done previously under agreement with Beijing, China seemingly shut off the country’s access.

The decision allows China to preserve its tough image of never backing down against protest, especially protest from outside the country, while actually allowing almost all of Google’s functions to continue. While it probably will continue to deliver outraged statements about Google’s treachery, most observers expect it to quiet down and let the current situation stand.

In a March 22 press statement, Google officials announced that cyber attacks, surveillance of human rights activists, phishing scams and malware ” had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Users visiting are now being redirected to, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong.