Google announced today that it stopped censoring Google services in China. This is something that many Internet users did not believe they would be doing even though they made it very clear that it was a possibility.
As of today Google Search, Google News and Google Images search are delivering censor free search results to Chinese people.
The google.cn domain has been redirected to google.com.hk, the Google Search engine for Hong Kong.
Users from China mainland are automatically redirected to the Hong Kong search engine which is displayed in simplified Chinese to them.
Google mentioned further that they will carefully monitor the situation as it can very well be that the Chinese government decides to block access to the Google search engine and other Google services in the future.
Users from all over the world can take a look at the new Google China Service Availability page that displays status information about Google Services in China. It will in particularly tell you if Google services such as Google Search, YouTube, Gmail, Blogger or Picasa are accessible, blocked or partially blocked.
The Google service availability page will be updated daily to reflect changes in the availability. It is interesting that Google decided to go forward with it as it surely means that they will lose some money and probably even access to the Chinese market completely.
What's your opinion on the matter? Good or bad move by Google?
Update: Google removed the page indicating the service status in mainland China. It asks users to use the Google Transparency Report service instead which offers information about regions with disruptions among other things.
The best way to get started is to open this page which links directly to the report about Google operation's in China. You may need to scroll down a bit before the information become available.
Each product is listed with the starting date of the blocking, duration in days, and whether it is still ongoing or ended. Next to it is a graph that indicates activity, and the latest article by major news outlets about the service in China.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.