Google announced they are no longer allowed under Chinese law to redirect Google.cn to Google.com.hk. The Chinese government told Google that they won’t renew their license to operate in China if they continue to do the redirect. Google’s solution? Create a landing page on Google.cn, which appears to be a search box, but when clicked on, takes you to Google Hong Kong.
When Google decided to no longer censor search results they went with the approach of redirecting Google China to Google Hong Kong. Like I said, Google would lose their license to operate in China if they continued this practice. Clearly, Google wants to continue operating in China so they are trying this new approach, of a landing page.
As I expressed on my other blog, I feel this type of landing page is deceptive on some level. The landing page is one large graphic that if clicked on, anywhere, takes you to Google Hong Kong. The page actually looks a lot like a Google Search Box and I believe Google designed it this way to encourage people to click in the search box, thinking they can search on Google China, but then ultimately being taken to Google Hong Kong. It seems a bit confusing to me.
Postscript: Bloomberg reported on July 30th that China is partially blocking Google from their users. Google said it impacts the suggest tool and it means Chinese usage has dropped between “10 percent to 66 percent.”