INTERNET SEARCH SERVICE Google has shut down its search engine in mainland China after it stopped redirecting users to its uncensored website in Hong Kong.
It is still possible to get a Google search in mainland China, however. Chinese web surfers are able to click on a link on the Google.cn home page that takes them to the Hong Kong site.
The move is a concession to Chinese government mandarins, who had threatened to revoke Google's licence to operate in the glorious People's Republic if it did not kowtow to their demands.
In a blog post Google said it is changing how Internet users in China access its search engine.
The hope is that Google will be able to renew its licence to offer online content in China. Why it would want to do this, when it made such a big show about leaving, is anyone's guess.
It remains unclear whether the Chinese government will accept what one analyst called a "peace offering". A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said at a regular press briefing Tuesday that he had not seen Google's statement and had no specific comment.
However there is no real reason for the Chinese to want to have Google in the country, particularly after it has publicly stated its opposition to the totalitarian government's censorship rules. µ
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