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The Chinese government has indicated that relations with the US won’t be damaged by Google’s decision to stop censoring search results in the country.
Google is attempting to sidestep Chinese censorship rules by redirecting users in the country to an uncensored version of its search engine in Hong Hong. Search results are still filtered, though, by the Chinese government itself – Google shows what’s in and what’s out, here.
But Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang says its problem is just with Google itself.
“I can’t see it having an impact on China-US relations unless someone wants to politicize this,” he said. “It’s not China that has undermined its image, rather it is Google itself.”
Rumours abound that Google has already set a date for complete withdrawal from China – April 10th, since you ask.
But the company clearly wants to make the most of its swan song – and demonstrate just how very, very much it wants to help its Chinese users access all the iffy political material they like.
“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,” said David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer.
“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.”