Google and China: The Beginnings
• September 2000: Google introduces a Chinese version of its search engine at the
• September 2002: Access to Google's site is completely bloc
ked in China for about twoweeks. It appears the domain name was hijacked and redirected -- a move the Chinesegovernment may have been behind. Soon thereafter, signs of restricted access and censoredresults begin to surface. Even the brainiest who got all of Google's famously impossibleinterview questions right can't quite figure out what's going on.
Google and China: The Censorship Begins
• January 2006: Google relents and launches Google.cn, a specialized version of its search
site that filters out pornographic and "politically sensitive" results. The companyacknowledges that the filtering "clearly compromises [its] mission," but notes that "failing tooffer Google search at all to a fifth of the world's population ... [would do so] far moreseverely."
• March 2008: China blocks access to YouTube and Google News during riots in Tibet. It
isn't the first time China has blocked access to specific Google services, and it won't be thelast.
• March 2009: Fast
-forward one year, and YouTube gets the boot in China again. A Chineseofficial denies his nation is afraid of the Internet; a wisecracking writer suspects the JonasBrothers are really to blame. This ban, by most accounts, is still pretty much in place today.
Google and China: The Tensions Climb
une 2009: China finds some pornographic results in the Google.cn site and goes ballistic.(Those guys evidently never read this study about why porn is actually good for society.) Thecountry blocks access to Google until the G-team wipes out every mention of the G-spot.
• September 2009: The guy who ran the Google China operation since its inception steps
down from his role. Analysts speculate that his departure might be a sign of broader problemsbetween Google and the People's Republic. Around the same time, satirists speculate thatApple is working with the Chinese government to form its own repressive business strategies.
Google and China: Spiralling Out of Control
• January 12, 2010: Google announces that it will no longer censor search results in Chin
afollowing an attack on its servers in the country. The attack, Google says, targeted the Gmailaccounts of Chinese human rights activists. "These attacks and the surveillance they haveuncovered ... have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our businessoperations in China," Google explains in a blog posting. "We have decided we are no longer