Baidu Sees Other End Of Censorship Stick

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Much has been made of the ways in which Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have accommodated the Chinese government – and rightly so – but Baidu, with its home field advantage, appeared to be in the clear.  Now, however, Baidu is running into some censorship problems of its own.

Interestingly, the issue only arose when the Chinese search engine ventured out of its usual territory.  As Bloomberg’s John Liu explained, Baidu “said its Japanese Web site, which has links to pornography and critics of the Chinese government, has been blocked in its home market.”

It remains to be seen (or even guessed) how Baidu will resolve this conflict; if it chose not to provide its Japanese users with porn, for example, there would apparently be rather few users left.  After all, “76 percent of the searches on Baidu Japan are for pictures,” according to the Pacific Epoch, and it’s a good bet that many of those searches are for eye candy (of the non-automotive variety).

Florian Pihs, an Analysys analyst, summed up the Baidu’s problem for Bloomberg, saying that the Chinese search engine needs “a service in Japan with content people won’t suspect is censored by the Chinese government, but it’s that same content that gets them in trouble in China.”

Catch-22 is a great book, but not such a great situation to be in.  On the other hand, well . . .  Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are probably having a good collective laugh over this.

Baidu Sees Other End Of Censorship Stick
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