Long-term cost of censorship
Published 25/03/2010 | 07:55
The row between Google and China can be expressed in simple, practical terms. If you type "Tiananmen Square Massacre" into a Google search engine in mainland China you are greeted by the response: "Search unavailable." If you make the same search in Bangkok, for instance, where freedom of speech is far less restricted, you will be directed to sites describing the massacre of 1989.
China's government wants its people to hit an investigative dead end. Google has decided to circumnavigate government censorship by rerouting traffic through its Hong Kong engine.
The China-Google dispute provides a fundamental insight into the widening fault line between two differing models of capitalism.