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Google to end rerouting of Chinese search site

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Mountain View, Calif.—Google, threatened by the Chinese government with what amounts to a business shutdown, will stop its three-month practice of automatically rerouting users of its censored Chinese-language search site, based in Beijing, to its uncensored Hong Kong site.

Google effectively closed Google.cn last March following cyber attacks against the site and local Gmail accounts, and to avoid having to cooperate with the Chinese government’s censorship laws. Users going to Google.cn had been automatically redirected to Google’s unfiltered Google.hk site.

However, on Monday Google announced on its official blog that Chinese government officials “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).”

While Google no longer automatically redirects Chinese users to its Hong Kong site, it does provide a link to Google.hk on the Google.cn home page.

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