Saying that it's better for China's internet users to be able to access at least some content, Google is planning to launch new search and news sites in China that censor material which the government there finds objectionable, reports CNET. Expected to launch today, Google.cn will include notes on results pages disclosing that content has been removed. "Google.cn will comply with local Chinese laws and regulations," Andrew McLaughlin, senior policy counsel for Google, said in a statement. Because China often blocks websites, internet users there have had trouble accessing Google services.
"In deciding how best to approach the Chinese - or any - market, we must balance our commitments to satisfy the interest of users, expand access to information, and respond to local conditions," McLaughlin said, adding that at least for now Google will not provide Gmail or Blogger in China.
"The new Google version means that even if a human rights publication is not blocked by local firewalls, it has no chance of being read in China," Reporters Without Borders pointed out, accusing Google of censorship.
In a long piece weighing the pros and cons of Google's approach, Search Engine Watch itself tries to strike a balance among varying views on the censorship topic. Inter alia, it points to similar censorship efforts in effect by France and Germany.