The other day, Google announced that it would be redirecting its Chinese language search engine at Google.cn to Google.com.hk, the company’s Hong Kong site, where they would now censor search results. That does not mean, however, that Google has ceased operations in China entirely.
The company has now announced that it intends to continue research and development work in China, as well as maintain a sales presence in the country. Google put a post up on the Google Enterprise Blog explaining what this means for Google Apps users in China.
"First, we very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that China could at any time block access to our services in mainland China," the Google Apps Team says. "We will be carefully monitoring access issues and we have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that you can see which Google services are available in China."
"Second, it is important to know that there are several networking configurations and associated technologies available to help ensure ongoing access to your critical business services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs," the team adds. "These network configurations, such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection, secure shell (SSH) tunneling, or using a proxy server, are already in place by many businesses with worldwide operations who serve their users from various locations. Companies should consult their own technical, legal and policy personnel to find a solution that works best for them."
"Finally, we do not host any Google Apps services, or your data, in mainland China," the team says. "Moreover, Google employees in mainland China do not have access to any Apps systems or customer data."
Google reminds Apps users that they can view performance info outside of China at anytime using the Google Apps Status Dashboard. The company also points out that Google is not the only tech company to face such issues when serving Chinese users.