As its long and drawn out public battle over internet censorship with the Chinese government continues, Google has made the decision to immediately halt the practice of censorship in China. As of today, all traffic to Google.cn will be redirected to the uncensored and Hong Kong-based Google.hk. Google isn’t exactly sure how the Chinese regime is going to react to this action — according to Google this redirect is “entirely legal” — but Google’s David Drummond (SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer) had this to say:
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.
If you’re reading this in China and are finding Google’s Hong Kong website to be a bit slow or completely unresponsive, Google wants you to know that this is to be expected in the short term as its servers are currently being hammered by a massive influx of traffic while it sorts everything out.
Anyone care to wager how the Chinese government will respond?