China Blocks Everything But Baidu?

    October 18, 2007

Chinese citizens trying to access sites owned by Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft aren’t having much luck; instead, they’re often getting redirected to Baidu.

In all likelihood, Baidu, by itself, isn’t powerful enough to pull off this switch.  Onlookers suspect the Chinese government, instead.  But when we tried to deduce why the quick-tempered authorities would do such a thing, a number of possibilities stood out.

Perhaps, as Danny Sullivan and Barry Schwartz suggest, it’s because the U.S. government honored the Dalai Lama with its highest award for civilians.  Another option comes from Kenneth Tan – he discovered that a clip relating to the Tiananmen Square massacre was visible through Google Video.

Or maybe, like Marc van der Chijs told Fons Tuinstra, it’s because YouTube just launched a Chinese-language version.  van der Chijs is the founder of Tudou, a YouTube competitor, so he would be likely to understand the situation.

In any event, the problem seems to have affected Google Blog Search, Microsoft Live Search, the main Yahoo site, and YouTube, at the very least.  And there is, of course, no word on when or if the redirect to Baidu will be reversed.