Google and China (3): Some updatesWritten by Julen Madariaga on January 14th, 2010
Here are a few interesting new points I have gathered that I think are worth commenting:
- There has been a call by H. Clinton to China to explain the hacking claims of Google. And in the same interesting article we read that Eric Schmidt participated last week in a dinner with her to discuss how technology can be used to promote democracy.
- Google has now started taking measures, and already all the Gmail accounts are encrypted, as far as I know in the whole world, you can check your account and see the address bar now starts with https.
- However, as of my own tests 5 minutes ago, there is no evidence that the search service in Google.cn has changed. I have a good point of comparison because I did similar searches in an experiment last year. You can look up things like 08宪章 (political document charter 08) and you will see the Manipulated Results, exactly like last year, with the FM message and all.
- In the only article that Xinhua has published about this, there is one quotation by a professor Guo of a Shanghai university: “the Google case was a reminder to the government that Internet supervision could be more moderate and smarter”. Never thought I would read that in Xinhua. (thanks to kaplanpop for the tip)
- The actions of Google have gathered a lot of support from Chinese netizens. However, this must not be taken at face value for a survey of Chinese opinion. The large majority of Chinese of course have not even heard about this, and if they have, they have no idea why it is a big deal that foreign company Google may leave China.
- The stock market still has not decided if the PR points gained in the West are worth the business lost in China. The G shares are down just 1.4% right now. On the other hand, investors have little doubts about Baidu who is up 13,5%. I bet some copycat in the B offices is already starting to plot how to offer an online BDocs, BMaps, BCalendar, Bmail, Bwave and even Bphone to the Chinese…