A familiar pattern has emerged in Beijing since Google announced that it would close its Chinese business unless it is allowed to operate its search engine here uncensored.Is it really?
The Internet exploded in a welter of comment from China’s online community, mostly supportive of Google. The government has remained tight-lipped, and now appears to have ordered websites to stifle discussion of the affair.
Making no mention of Google or its bombshell announcement, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Thursday only that “China’s Internet is open. The Chinese government encourages development of the Internet and is building a beneficial environment for it.”
So can the majority of Chinese Internet users; 60 percent of them search the Web with a homegrown search engine, Baidu, which has twice as many users as Google.cn.How will we survive?
Baidu, however, cannot match Google.cn services such as maps, translation, and calendars, and most Google.cn users, unfamiliar with English, expressed dismay at the prospect of living without their favorite search engine.
“Without Google … I wouldn’t be able to finish so many tasks in one day,” wrote Sun Bo, a “netizen,” on his blog. “Without Google, how can we survive?”
In the words of my friend, Kate, Google is gonna take over the world!