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Google Readies Hong Kong-Based Q&A Site

Another subtle challenge to censorship in China

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Although many human rights and free speech advocates may not approve of the concessions the company’s made, it looks like Google’s attempt to stand up to the Chinese government is continuing.  Google is supposed to launch a new Q&A service to compete with other products it will stop supporting.

Owen Fletcher reported this morning, "Google Inc. said Tuesday it will stop providing technical support this week for two online services in China run by the operator of one of the country’s most popular online forums, after the U.S. firm said earlier it would phase out censored search deals with its Chinese partners."

Now, that last statement is somewhat debatable, considering that many of Google’s Chinese partners themselves decided to break off deals when Google started angering the government.

But the key point is that Fletcher continued, "Google . . . will launch its own question-and-answer service on the Hong Kong site for mainland China users in ‘the coming few days,’ it said in a Chinese-language blog post."

That should prove useful to the many Chinese citizens who are able to find their way around the Great Firewall, while at the same time following the letter of the law and keeping Google out of further trouble.

Meanwhile, Baidu’s stock is still taking a beating following a report that the company’s again been selling ads to counterfeit drug sites.  It’s down 2.24 percent so far this morning, while the Nasdaq and Google are only down 1.47 percent and 0.37 percent, respectively.

Google Readies Hong Kong-Based Q&A Site
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