So Google finally made good on its promise to uncensor its Chinese search engine and/or leave the Chinese market. And China is now making good on its promise to make Google very sorry for ever bringing it up.
Gotta say "the G" was pretty clever about it. Redirecting Google.cn to Google.com.hk seems like a smart way to stay in China while not staying in China. And Google's "Mainland China service availability report" -- which displays which Google services Beijing is mucking with on any particular day -- is sheer brilliance.
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(I understand negotiations between the two parties got pretty heated near the end -- at least, according to this video.)
Symbolically, Google's public repudiation of China is huge. The company is walking away from potentially millions of dollars in ad revenue.
In practical terms, though, it doesn't do much. China is still blocking search results, and it's retaliating by forcing the country's two largest telecoms, China Unicom and China Mobile, to pull their deals with Google over search engines and Android phone manufacturing. Chinese Web portals are now backing out of their agreements with Google -- no doubt with some strong "encouragement" from Beijing.
This morning, Google's U.S. corporate site was hacked and redirected to the Chinese version, according to a report in the U.K.'s Guardian. No clue whether this was China's doing or just somebody's idea of a joke (I'm guessing the latter).
I'm wracking my brain trying to come up with another example of a major U.S. corporation saying "bite me" to a major national power because it didn't like that government's repressive policies. If the government is pro capitalism, U.S. companies generally do not appear to care how they treat their citizens. Am I wrong about this?