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Google Stops Hong Kong Auto-redirect As China Plays Hardball

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    Google Stops Hong Kong Auto-redirect As China Plays Hardball

    Google has decided to call off its efforts to redirect all China users to its Hong Kong search site, sort of.

    The change may seem minimal, but Google hopes it will be enough to appease the Chinese government—and to keep its license to operate an Internet business in the country.

    Google says it decided to make the change because Chinese officials found the redirect "unacceptable." (Insert expression of shock here.) They told Google that something had to change or China would not renew Google's Internet Content Provider license on June 30—without it, Google won't be able to operate Google's China page at all.

    If that happened, would simply go dark and not provide searches or redirects to the Hong Kong page. Users who do not go directly to would be left confused, with no guidance about where to go.

    "That’s a prospect dreaded by many of our Chinese users, who have been vocal about their desire to keep alive," wrote Google's Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.

    Source: Ars Technica