Google’s China search results are being subject to censorship despite being shifted to Hong Kong servers.
A day after Google redirected its mainland search to Hong Kong, even less sensitive searches, such as on the names of Chinese leaders, were completely blocked, FT.com reported.
A Google spokesperson told Bloomberg the site was not blocked except for “certain sensitive queries.”
Google said yesterday it would redirect all searches on its google.cn website to servers placed in Hong Kong. It flagged up the move two months ago when it said it planned to end self-censorship of its search results in mainland China.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in an interview that the company did not have clear approval from China to shift the service to Hong Kong, but it seemed “the right step.”
“There’s a lot of lack of clarity. Our hope is that the newly begun Hong Kong service will continue to be available in mainland China.”
USSR-born Brin, who is believed to be the prime driver behind the move out of China, said his Soviet experience “has definitely shaped my views, and some of my company’s views.”
In other news, mainland news site tom.com – controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing – said it would stop using Google search because it did not comply with the law.
Speculation surrounds the future of Google’s role as the search partner for China Mobile and of the prospects for Google’s Android platform if the search function is rejected by local partners.