This is sure to get up the nose of the Chinese authorities.......
I all for it.
Google could be set for another tense showdown with the Chinese government after changing its search experience for users in the People’s Republic in a way that will explicitly notify them when their searches are being blocked by the authorities. Senior vice president of knowledge, Alan Eustace, announced the changes in a blog …
".. its Android platform is in a market leading position there, .."
Android is open source and the phone makers and service providers stuff it and layer it with their own sauce and can even determine which apps market is used. The service providers control routing to external services and the government add internet restrictions on top of that. I don't see how a local variant of Android being popular in China has much benefit to Google; apart from kudos, but only among those Chinese who know and understand the situation.
If not the main oligarchy of Labour and Conservative / Labor and Liberal / Republican and Democrat, who would you have people vote for? The Greens, who would have us all heading back to the caves as hunter-gatherers? The BNP / Australia First / National Front, who would hang anyone with non-white ancestry? Or one of the many single-issue parties like the Sex Party or the Pirate Party, who would focus on their single point of interest to the detriment of the rest of the structure of civilisation?
People aren't sheep. They just don't have anyone worthwhile to vote for. If a party came along and offered a balanced perspective whereby the needs and well-being of the public is respected as opposed to the crony corporatism we are burdened with today, we'd be onto a winner. But sadly, there is nobody like that - in any country.
The Chinese government is happy for the Internet to be open when it is Chinese hackers breaking into the sites of foreign companies and governments, and it is happy to allow its researchers access to all the free technical knowledge provided by western companies and educational institutions, but they shouldn't be allowed to have it both ways. If western websites used by Chinese companies and universities started rejecting all requests from any Chinese IP addresses, I'm sure the Chinese government would be outraged. But as much as I'd like to see them get a taste of their own medicine, it is probably better to just let the Chinese people poke holes in the Great Firewall.
Using Google in China is hit and miss anyway with even innocent searches blocked whilst the same search on Bing or Baidu works perfectly.
Also the Android marketplace is blocked so I can't see how google makes any money out of Android here.
All in all I think Google have may think they have very little to lose so they might as well go for it but they run the risk of being blocked completely like facebook, twitter, youtube. The Chinese authorities are getting more and more confident and care less and less what 'foreign devils' say about them. Given the recent wave of anti-foreigner sentiments here due to a viral video of a British man sexually assaulting a chinese woman: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9257261/British-tourist-arrested-in-China-for-sexual-assault.html I think that banning Google might even be popular with the majority of the Chinese public.
The Chinese authorities have been able to disrupt PPTP / L2TP VPNs for quite a while and now can and do disrupt Open VPN traffic as well. Additionally, China also 'tested' it's ability to completely block all foreign internet traffic in April (as reported in the Daily Telegraph and here: in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/12/china-internet-users-foreign-websites). Expect this technology to be deployed during the next change in leadership or when some smelly stuff hits the fan etc.
Anonymous for obvious reasons...
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