Last week TechCrunch told how the Chinese Government was redirecting Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft searches to its own search engine Baidu. The post had 145 comments when I last visited. Paris-based Reporters Without Borders noted that YouTube and Google blog search were blocked along with search engines.
“We’ve had numerous reports that Google.cn and other search engines have been blocked in China and traffic redirected to other sites. While this is clearly unfortunate, we’ve seen this happen before and are confident that service will be restored to our users in the very near future.”
Others chimed in with different theories:
- Sites were disabled during China’s Communist Party congress that is held every five years to choose leaders and set the party’s agenda.
- It had to do with the Dalai Lama winning a Congressional Gold Medal in the US (which angered China and is a very touchy subject).
- Only some ISPs block or redirect sites or that it was an update that caused disruption.
- Censorship in the country have led it to be dubbed the Great Firewall of China.
It also looks like people were redirected to Baidu but that it’s not the norm. Baidu is a great place to find copyright-free music but not for political or controversial information. Google agrees to let China censor their results, and it is not disputed that the Chinese government does censor sites (like YouTube) and that some sites are routinely blocked.