Google and China have been struggling against each other for months on the censorship question. We may have finally reached a stable situation between the battling titans.
According to analysts covering the region, China has not fully blocked Google’s .cn to .com.hk redirect. Instead, they are balancing the desire of the internet using Chinese population and economy to use Google, while keeping their eye on effective, if restrained, censorship.
To maintain that balance, the Chinese government is blocking certain searches from being allowed on the uncensored Hong Kong version of Google that Bring and Page now serve to the Chinese market. The redirect was put in place after a hacking incident compromised private information on Google’s servers. It seems that perhaps fewer total terms are blocked. The most sensitive, Falun Gong and so forth, are completely dark.
In a small way, this is perhaps the best of both worlds for the company and country. Google no longer censors their results, thus ending their moral quandary. All the while China gets to censor the most ‘offensive’ queries, and the people of China deal with slightly less government intrusion into their internet use.
How long this situation will last is unknown. If China becomes increasingly aggressive on any particular front, Google may become nervous and pull the redirect, thus ending Google search in China. That seems unlikely. What we have now may be the circumstance for the next year. Time will tell.