Google an update on china

Ever since we launched Google.cn, our search engine for mainland Chinese users, we have done our best to increase access to information while abiding by Chinese law. This has not always been an easy balance to strike, especially since our January announcement that we were no longer willing to censor results on Google.cn.

We currently automatically redirect everyone using Google.cn to Google.com.hk, our Hong Kong search engine. This redirect, which offers unfiltered search in simplified Chinese, has been working well for our users and for Google. However, it’s clear from conversations we have had with Chinese government officials that they find the redirect unacceptable—and that if we continue redirecting users our Internet Content Provider license will not be renewed (it’s up for renewal on June 30). Without an ICP license, we can’t operate a commercial website like Google.cn—so Google would effectively go dark in China.

That’s a prospect dreaded by many of our Chinese users, who have been vocal about their desire to keep Google.cn alive. We have therefore been looking at possible alternatives, and instead of automatically redirecting all our users, we have started taking a small percentage of them to a landing page on Google.cn that links to Google.com.hk—where users can conduct web search or continue to use Google.cn services like music and text translate, which we can provide locally without filtering. This approach ensures we stay true to our commitment not to censor our results on Google.cn and gives users access to all of our services from one page.

Over the next few days we’ll end the redirect entirely, taking all our Chinese users to our new landing page—and today we re-submitted our ICP license renewal application based on this approach.

As a company we aspire to make information available to users everywhere, including China. It’s why we have worked so hard to keep Google.cn alive, as well as to continue our research and development work in China. This new approach is consistent with our commitment not to self censor and, we believe, with local law. We are therefore hopeful that our license will be renewed on this basis so we can continue to offer our Chinese users services via Google.cn.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer


2010 年 6 月 28 日

David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

自从为中国大陆用户推出 Google.cn 这个 搜索引擎以来,我们一直在尽最大的努力来提高用户对信息的访问,同时遵守中国法律。做到这样的平衡并不容易,尤其是我们在今年1月份宣布不愿意继续在 Google.cn 上对搜索结果进行审查。

当前,我们把所有访问 Google.cn 的用户自动指向了我们香港的搜索引擎 Google.com.hk,通过这种方法,我们可以提供未经审查的简体中文 搜索结果。目前这种方法无论对用户还是对 Google 都运行良好。然而,在与中国有关部门的沟通中我们明确获知:自动指向的做法是不可接受的。如果我们继 续进行自动指向,我们的 ICP 牌照将无法通过年检(年检截止时间是6月30日)。没有 ICP 牌照,我们将不能在中国运营 Google.cn 这样的商业网站——这意味着 Google.cn 将不能被访问。

那是许多 Google 中国用户所担忧的结果,因为他们都清楚表明了希望 Google.cn 继续运营的愿望。为此,我们开始寻找其他可能的替代办法,我们开始为一小部分用户提供一个新的 google.cn 访问页面,该页面与 Google.com.hk 链接,在那里,用户可以进行搜索,或继续使用在 google.cn 上的音乐搜索(Music Search)和文本翻译(Translate)等不涉及内容审查的服务。这个新做法确保 Google.cn 不对搜索结果进行审查的承诺,同时让用户可以在一个页面上访问我们所有的服务。

未来几天,我们将全部停止自动指向,让所有中国用户都直接访问这个新页面——今天,基于这样一个新页面,我们重新提交了 ICP 牌照年检申请。

作为一家公司,我们的追求是让用户随时随地访问到他们所需的信息,包括中国的用户。这就是为什么我们一直在努力地保持 Google.cn 的运营,以及继续我们在中国的研发工作。这个新做法确保了 Google.cn 不对搜索结果进行审查的承诺,并且,我们相信,符合中国法律。因此我们希望能够通过 ICP 牌照年检,让我们可以继续通过 Google.cn 为中国用户提供服务。



A new approach to China: an update

On January 12, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn.

So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk. Due to the increased load on our Hong Kong servers and the complicated nature of these changes, users may see some slowdown in service or find some products temporarily inaccessible as we switch everything over.

Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.

In terms of Google’s wider business operations, we intend to continue R&D work in China and also to maintain a sales presence there, though the size of the sales team will obviously be partially dependent on the ability of mainland Chinese users to access Google.com.hk. Finally, we would like to make clear that all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them. Despite all the uncertainty and difficulties they have faced since we made our announcement in January, they have continued to focus on serving our Chinese users and customers. We are immensely proud of them.

Posted by David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer


David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer

今年1月12日,我们在本博客上宣布,Google及另外二十余家美国公司受到了来自中国的、复杂的网络攻击,在对这些攻击进 行深入调查的过程中,通过我们所收集到的证据表明,几十个与中国有关的人权人士的Gmail帐号定期受到第三方的侵入,而这大部分侵入是通过安装在他们电脑上的钓鱼软件或恶意软件进行的。这些攻击以及它们所暴露的网络审查问题,加上去年以来中国进一步限制网络言论自由,包括 对FaceBook、Twitter、YouTube、Google Docs 和 Blogger 等网站的持续屏蔽,使我们做出结论:我们不能继续在Google.cn搜索结果上进行自我审查。

从今天早上开始,我们已停止了在Google.cn搜索服务上的自我审查,包括 Google Search (网页搜索)、Google News(资讯搜索)和Google Images (图片搜索)。 访问 Google.cn 的用 户从现在开始将被指向Google.com.hk,在这个域名上,我们将提供未经审查的简体中文搜索结果,这些为中国大陆用户设计的服务将通过我们在香港的服务器实现。香港地区的用户还将继续通过Google.com.hk获得跟现在一样的、未经审查的繁体中文搜索服务。在我们进行迁移的过程中,由于香港服务器负荷的增加以及这些变化的复杂程度,用户可能会发现搜索速度变慢,或发现某些产品暂时不能访问。


至于Google的广泛的业务运营,我们计划继续在中国的研发工作,并将保留销售团队,然而销售团队的规模显然部分取决于中国大陆用户能否访问Google.com.hk 。最后,我们要清楚表明:所有这些决定都是由美国的管理团队做出和实施的,没有任何一位中国员工能够、或者应该为这些决定负责。自我们在1月份发布博客以 来,尽管面临着众多的不确定性和困难,他们仍然坚守在工作岗位,专注于服务我们的中国用户和客户。我们为拥有这样的员工感到深深的骄傲。