Google's Hong Kong question page blocked in China
Tuesday 03 August 2010
A question-and-answer page on Google Hong Kong's website became inaccessible to some mainland Chinese users on Tuesday, underscoring Beijing's sensitivity about the Internet.
The Chinese government, obsessed with maintaining social stability and controlling the flow of information, requires all search engines operating on the mainland to self-censor. It uses a "Great Firewall" to block overseas sites with content it considers subversive or dangerous.
The Google page provides Chinese-speaking Internet users with a forum to ask questions of any description and some visitors had veered into highly sensitive territory.
Several recent questions concerned the June 4, 1989, crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations around Beijing's Tiananmen Square, a topic banned from public discussion in China.
One questioner asked when China would have its next Tiananmen uprising, with answers including "soon; the Communist Party will collapse".
Others included profanities about former leader Mao Zedong or sensitive contemporary issues such as a recent protest to protect the Cantonese language in the southern city of Guangzhou, which ended in scuffles with police.
Multiple users in China reported getting error messages when they tried to access the page.
A Google spokeswoman said there was nothing technically wrong with the site.
"If you are noticing there is a blockage you would need to ask the government as it would be an issue at their end," she said.
China's State Council Information Office, one of the country's internet regulators, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Google angered Beijing this year by announcing it was no longer willing to comply with censorship rules.
The company closed its local search site and redirected traffic to its site in Hong Kong, a former British territory which returned to Chinese rule in 1997 while retaining a high degree of autonomy.
China has the world's largest Internet market by users at 420 million.
Life & Style blogs
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
- 1 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 2 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...
£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...