The second round goes to the dragon.
Google has retreated from what looked like a no-compromise face-off with Chinese state censors. In a statement on Tuesday, the company said it was making changes to a decision taken in March to direct traffic from its censored China portal, to its uncensored Hong Kong one. This was in order to bypass state-enforced diktats. At the time Google’s defiance was at least partly fuelled by information that China had been the base for hacking attacks on the company’s servers.
Now Google is saying that it will direct users to a new Chinese landing page with some censored results, and a link to the Hong Kong version. The company admits this is to ensure it retains a licence to operate in China.
The change from Google is symbolic, but China has shown that neither citizens nor capitalists are above its laws, no matter however repressive they may be.