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I came back to Shanghai from Germany yesterday and was totally shocked when i wanted to use Google this morning
I think all URLs are redirected now
.com and .de redirect to Baidu
.co.uk and some others redirect to a Search engine of the Beijing unversity where you can search FTP and WWW for Files
Users who try to connect to Google may be redirected to Tianwang Search or other domestic search engines. This is not the doing of Tianwang Search nor is it what Tianwang Search desires. We ask for the understanding of our Internet friends. The Tianwang Search that you have connected to through www.google.com may not be easy to use. Please use http://bingle.pku.edu.cn.
(In the final analysis they are still taking advantage of this windfall, for which I guess they can't be blamed!)
No matter how severely the Chinese censorship is criticized, the ousted search engines should blame themselves for the expulsion. Google and AltaVista allowed unpardonable mistakes concerning the problems of Taiwan and Tibet, the fanatical sect of Falun Gong, these are the problem which are so much painful for China.
It would mean to go into Russian politics here, and internal russian debates about the role Russia should play in the world, to explain what this article really says, so I'll leave it at that.
The article anyhow puts forward the really interesting question, if Google, and Altavista, will resist the pressure from Chinese authorities.
There's a gigantic potential audience at stake.
Nearly 50 Mill users today, growing rapidly and with the potential to become the largest single group on the web worldwide.
Yahoo has already arranged with the Chinese government.
(When) Will Google and Altavista follow?
Do we have to assume every international search engine going to and staying online in China offers a localized version of their serps?
Censorship like this makes me sick.
Regarding all the banned and painful things you can find through Google, they're on the non-blocked sites as well. I do believe it's that cache feature that got Google in trouble.
If I had to guess, the Chinese search engine companies were complaining that Google is taking their business. They were ignored. Then someone at one of these businesses saw the relevance of the cache feature, mentioned it to the government, and BOOM!
I found the cache feature useful because the Miami Herald is blocked, and I enjoy reading Dave Barry's columns. I can click that little cache button and see how Dave's column looked the last time Google spidered it. Kinda defeats the whole purpose of blocking sites in the first place, doesn't it?
I wouldn't mind if Google created a special no-cache version just for Chinese users. I miss its organization more than I do the occassional peek into a blocked site. Their algorithm does produce the most relevant results.
First, I've noticed that after searching on Google for a while I start getting 'document empty' notices. It's as though a limit has been placed on the number of searches I can do. If I disconnect and dial up again (I'm on a dial-up connection) I can get Google again without any trouble.
Secondly, I just did a search on jiang xiaosong (this is a different search from jiang zemin, but turns up some jiang zemin results). On the second page the results cut out in the middle of the page - the bottom of the page was simply missing. No further searches were possible, no matter what the topic. Dialling up again resolved the problem.
The goons appear to be resorting to different methods of controlling what you can get.
Incidentally, China's entry to the WTO is supposed to make it more 'transparent'. Cutting off the major Internet search engine without any announcement and diverting users to alternative search engines without any clear legal basis is not actually a model of transparency.
You get no results if you search for Falun Gong or Tibet.
And I've also noticed that the cache feature is selectively disabled. I did a search on "Jiang Zemin". I could look at the cache from the English version of the People's Daily, but not from a website created by the Falun Gong. In fact, most of the caches seemed disabled. Nowadays, I can never seem to look at caches anymore.
Bathrobe, I'm right with you there with regards to the WTO.