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Chinese Government Not Redirecting Google Search Engine Queries

October 19, 2007

Chinese Internet users report that access to Google and other major search engines is currently available

According to reports from Internet users in Beijing and Shanghai, attempts to access Google and other search engines were successful and not, as reported earlier, denied, redirected, or blocked.

A claim that first surfaced on the US blog TechCrunch, alleged “Baidu hijacking Google traffic in China.” Baidu is the search site put in place by the Chinese government for the purpose of redirecting and censoring Internet searches. China has long had a problem with censorship, and government officials and regulators have repeatedly been criticized for their efforts to censor sites containing content they deem as “inappropriate, or controversial.”

In a TechCrunch follow up post, released earlier today, the latest information, according the the blog’s sources, was that “new reports have surfaced that would indicate that China has unilaterally blocked all three major search engines, and is redirecting all requests to Baidu.”

Several Internet users in China, however, reported today that all major search engines were accessible. This claim disparity may be explained by the fact that the Chinese censors block access to websites around particularly sensitive political dates, according to Computerworld.com. For example, access is regularly blocked, censored, and restricted on the June 4th anniversary of the Tiananmen square massacre. Access is also blocked every five years, when the Chinese Communist Party Congress meets to choose leaders and set policies. These meetings are currently being held as of press time.

Access to certain search engines is also regularly blocked in China when users search for words that are deemed politically sensitive, and keeping track of which sites and content is currently being censored and which is not can pose a major challenge for Internet users. Spokespersons for Google, Inc were not available for comment at press time.


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