In an article today, the Chinese Government accused Google of colluding with the US Army to wage a cyberwar against China. Blasting the search engine for being hypocritical, the article claims that Google’s, “collusion with the U.S. intelligence and security agencies is well-known…All this makes one wonder. Thinking about the United States’ big efforts in recent years to engage in Internet war, perhaps this could be an exploratory pre-dawn battle.”
So clearly, China’s not bitter at all over Google’s decision to defy their censorship policy.
What’s clearly irking the Chinese Government is that Google’s actions have support from a decently sized slice of the Chinese population. In the wake of the decision, the sign outside of Google’s China headquarters has repeatedly been covered with flowers brought by supporters of the move. The problem, though, is that this support is really starting to irk China.
Despite Google’s interpretation of the legal separation between Hong Kong and China, running their search operations through Hong Kong is seen as a subversive move. China Scholar David Lampton said, “I am not sure whether it was an attempt by Google to give the Chinese a way out, but instead it magnified the political controversy.”
And unfortunately for Google, the backlash seems likely to affect the entire company. Mobile phone operators like China Unicom and China Mobile are rapidly removing Google as the primary search tool on their handsets. That move wasn’t entirely unexpected, but at the same time it appears more and more likely that Android is the next target of China’s anger.
Here’s our own Chad Catacchio’s take on the situation.