Reflections on a Wandering Life.....
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Lots of talk about Google's decision to leave China. Actually, I don't think they have formally decided to leave China, I think it's just that they have decided to no longer comply with the Chinese government requirement that they filter politically sensitive internet searches on the Chinese version of their web site (www.google.cn). At first, it did not strike me as big news, because I have never used the Chinese site. Most of the time I use the Canadian site (google.ca), because it seems to load a little faster. The Canadian site is not filtered. In the long run, though, it could affect me. If the government refuses to allow this, and Google ends up pulling out of the Chinese market, i.e. shutting down google.cn, I could still get all the information I wanted using google.com, but the government could also decide to block that site, or to require Google to remove servers hosting GMAIL. Google has GMAIL set up on a million Linux servers worldwide, and it is hard to know how many of those servers are sitting right here at Google China in the Qinghua Science Park on the west side of Wudaokou, about a five minute walk from where I am sitting. If there is no GMAIL backup on servers hosted in China, it could be tough to get my email. Like when GOOGLE first started and didn't have China based servers. Even worse, China could block the GMAIL web site altogether. Time will tell.