Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

Business

Google rolls back self-censorship in China

©

Text by Sébastian SEIBT

Latest update : 2010-03-16

Google has partially lifted its strict self-censorship in China, with several previously banned keywords – including "Tiananmen" – now accessible. The surprise move comes as the Internet search giant threatens to leave China.

Websites containing the keywords “Tiananmen” and “Free Tibet”, previously censored on Google China, can now be accessed in an apparent partial lift of censorship by Google that threatens to arouse the wrath of the Chinese authorities.

The search results displayed for these keywords – checked by FRANCE 24 – are even more surprising given Google’s announcement on Monday that it would continue negotiations with Beijing to stay in the country. Google.cn has not confirmed lifting the censorship.  

Warning from Beijing 

Google.cn is still filtering some of its content: searching the words “Free Tibet”, rather than switching the words around, still won’t get users anywhere. The site of the NGO Human Rights Watch, for example, is still blocked. But savvy Internet users who click on the second item in a page of search results for “Human Rights Watch”, will be linked to an uncensored Wikipedia page in English about the NGO.

This move by Google – if confirmed – comes just hours after Beijing’s latest warning to the Internet firm to watch its back. On Tuesday, a representative of China’s trade ministry remarked that “investing in China means respecting Chinese law” and asked Google, once again, to keep censoring its searches.

With the two sides already locked in a battle over Beijing’s strict Web controls, could this new freedom to click on “Tiananmen” and “Tibet Free” be something of a "fingers up" by Google at Beijing’s latest warning?

Parting shot?

In January, the revelation that hackers had got into the Gmail (Google’s messaging service) accounts of Chinese human rights activists sparked an international outcry. Suspecting Beijing of being behind the cyberattacks, Google announced that it wanted to stop filtering its content in China, warning that it could leave the country altogether. This prompted a firm reminder from Beijing that all companies must work in accordance with Chinese laws. The row even strayed into diplomatic territory, with the US government stepping in to lend its support to Google.

Google has been trying to find a solution to the crisis for the last month. Last week, British daily the Financial Times reported that talks with Beijing had stalled. Sources close to the company say there is a “99 percent chance” that Google will pull out of China. If that were the case, this partial lift of censorship could well be its parting shot.

Date created : 2010-03-16

  • INTERNET

    Beijing denies Google cyber attack link

    Read more

  • INTERNET

    Google threatens to pull out of China after cyberattacks

    Read more

  • TECHNOLOGY

    Google postpones China phone launch over censorship row

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)