Google’s China play? Search me

I’m mad as hell that Google put Hong Kong’s autonomy at risk to escalate its fight with mainland China. The search giant’s recklessness is amplified because Google has no reasonable objective to achieve by baiting Beijing and inviting Chinese authorities to crack down on Hong Kong’s freedoms. I’m thankful the bonehead idea of rerouting search results via Hong Kong to evade censorship failed, not because it preserves suppression in the mainland but because it preserves freedom in Hong Kong. As I wrote in Asia Times, Google’s supposed desire to deliver uncensored results for mainland searches doesn’t make sense, given its agreement to abide by China’s rules as a condition of doing business there. Google’s longstanding corporate hypocrisy also raises questions about its claims of mainland cyberattacks and hacking. I guess Serge and Larry won’t be sending this fellow Stanford alum a Christmas card this year either, though I’ll keep an eye out for spybots.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.

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One Response to “Google’s China play? Search me”

  1. cabrogal Says:

    Hmm. I think maybe China is allowing Hong Kong a long leash for pragmatic social and economic reasons, rather than out of the goodness of its heart.

    So while a US demand to release a dissident might result in five more being locked up, I hardly think Beijing will cut off its own nose to spite its face just because Google saw fit to drag HK into its spat.

    And as for your observation that “some experts predict … [Stern Hu’s] release without serving jail time”, it seems that the ‘experts’ were very wrong and it doesn’t necessarily pay to play by Beijing’s rules.

    Completely agree with your comments about Google though, especially their disregard for online privacy.

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