Microsoft Willing to Censor in China as Google Removes Filters
Searches today for “tiananmen square massacre” on Google.cn reveals the world famous picture of the Chinese student blocking tanks with his body. It would appear that as Google is leaving China that they may have opened the doors and removed some filtering. According to a Foxnews article:
On Tuesday, Web searches on Google.cn that had formerly been censored appeared to return results to controversial topics, indicating that one day after announcing it was 99.9 percent certain to shut its Chinese search engine, search giant Google may have pulled the plug on censorship in the country. Searches for “Xinjiang independence” and “Tiananmen Square massacre” — items that the Chinese government would ordinarily censor, return results that are critical of the government, making it appear that filters are no longer working.
But this may not be a problem for China as it looks like Microsoft is willing to step in and fill the void.
“If we do a great job with the product, then we will hopefully attract more share,” a company spokesman told the paper. Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and Chairman Bill Gates have said they intend to keep the company in China and continue to comply with local regulations, including the censorship of some political material.
I was impressed that Google changed and took a stand in China against censorship. But it seems that other companies, attracted by the possibility of financial gain, are waiting in the wings.