I already said Google’s threat to quit China is hot air, nothing else. China sees through it, and I suppose its rivals is praying for a miracle as well.
So, after months of negotiations, what do we have? Google simply decided to redirect searches originating from mainland China to Hong Kong instead of censoring them. To the rest of the world, Google had stood up to China, or did it?
This BBC article on the subject says that results from Google’s Hong Kong server will come back censored. Since Google knows that, therefore, in my opinion, Google had capitulated and sold its mainland China out.
From the PR viewpoint, Google managed it well. It could had turned ugly for Google, i.e., seen to be capitulating in front of the world stage for starting the fight that it cannot even hope to win. Instead, it pull the wool over our eyes as to most of the world it stood up and ‘win’ the war by stopping censorship. Did it?
This is a well-planned PR campaign to take a jab at China. Fighting censorship is only the weapon of choice, Google’s motivation is embarass China over the espionage chaims. In that sense, it was successful.
Guess what? I believe China was prepared to take the punch.
While I think China’s censorship regime is too harsh, I cannot help but be happy that the rule of the land rein supreme in this case. If Google succeeded in this case, what is its next chanllenge? Not that Google is going to do it, peddling drugs with impunity?