In a severe jolt to China, Dell has announced that it will be moving almost $25 billion of operations from China to India, following Google and GoDaddy, who recently quit China this week.
According to reports from Indian newspaper Hindustan Times, the Chairman of Dell, Michael Dell has assured Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh that Dell will be moving its $25 billion operation out of China to India.
Dell reportedly told the India Prime Minister that they were looking for a safer environment with [a] climate conducive to enterprise. However, Dell will not be a new entrant into India as they already have an office there and moving there would just bring more business India’s way.
This is definitely bad for China since this is the third big company to have already walked out or are planning a walk out of an industry which is notorious for its sanctions and censoring.
I would definitely not be surprised if several more companies start to walk out of China after having enough of the monopolistic nature of the government. The coming weeks will be pretty crucial on how things pan out. However, all we can do is keep an eye to see how many companies have the itch to start packing their bags and moving onto more liberal shores.
[via Nexus404 and Gizmodo]
Looks like Google’s brawl with China does not have a limited impact. Google’s apparently courageous act of stopping censorship of results in China despite a possible loss of half a billion dollars, is encouraging other companies to stand up against the questionable regulations proposed by the Chinese government.
GoDaddy, the largest domain registrar in the world, says they will no longer register domains in China due to a new requirement for excessive personal information. Reportedly, a new domain registration applicant in China also has to provide a photograph now in addition to lots of other information. Authorities in China claim that these regulations will help in better monitoring, however, it is quite apparent that all China wants to monitor is anything said against it. There have been numerous incidents of websites being shutdown due to having questionable content without providing any detailed explanations to the website owner or hosting provider. Most of these websites had information about topics like Tianmen Square or Human Rights.
As more and more companies like Google and GoDaddy cease or limit their operations in China, the issue will take a much more serious political turn with the two governments getting involved. Google’s Sergey Brin along with thousands of other people are already requesting the US government to take this issue up with China at the government level.
Yesterday, Google started redirecting Google.cn users to Google.com.hk and displayed uncensored results to all the users. A annoyed user also wrote in how Google had blocked access to Google.com from within China.
However, its China’s turn now as some reports are flowing in that the Chinese government has started blocking certain search results in China. Earlier today, ZDNet got a statement from a Google executive to confirm the banning of certain search results.
"Certain terms seem to be being blocked by the firewall," said a Google spokesperson, referring to the ‘Great Firewall of China’, the popular nickname for Golden Shield.
However, there were no reports on which specific terms were being banned by the Chinese Government. Popular Google services like YouTube and Blogger have suffered a complete ban in China for quite sometime now, and it looks like Google’s web search and image search are headed in the same direction.
Right now Google’s Mainland China service availability page displays full access to Google web search and image search. However, that page has not been updated since March 21st, so expect to see some more red cross-marks appearing on the page soon.
Earlier this week, several media outlets reported that Google might have already decided to cease operations in China. While Google hasn’t officially reacted to the speculation, MSNBC is reporting that Google has begun serving uncensored search results in China.
Google had promised uncensored search results in their original missive. However, at least til earlier this week, search results were censored as usual in China. However, now it appears that at least some users in China are getting uncensored results for search queries related to the infamous Tiananmen Square massacre and Xinjiang independence.
Google officially denies making any changes. “We have not changed our operations in China,” said Google spokesman Scott Rubin. In fact, it is quite possible that this is simply a case of the filters malfunctioning. However, if the results have indeed been uncensored, then two things are certain. Firstly, the Chinese government will not be pleased with this development and secondly they will not hide their displeasure.
Despite all its recent problems in India, PayPal is sure Asian markets are the future. This is quite prominently reflected in company’s recent announcement to double its workforce in Asia from 1000 to 2000 employees. Most of the new hires (100 out of 1000) would be for PayPal’s regional headquarters in Singapore. Others will join offices in Taiwan, India, Australia, Japan, China and Hongkong.
However, this is not the only bit of news suggesting PayPal’s ambitious intentions for the Eastern markets. According to another report, PayPal has partnered with China UnionPay to fight the already established competitor AliPay. A Subsidiary of world’s most popular business network AliBaba, AliPay is already well established in the market and will not be an easy beast to tackle. Right now, AliPay has 300 Million users in China, three times more than what PayPal has. AliPay already does an average of $85 Billion worth of transactions each year compared with PayPal’s $9 Billion worth of transactions in the Asian market.
PayPal sees the future belonging to the east and it is trying hard to make a place but with a natural bias towards local alternatives, would companies like PayPal, eBay and Google succeed? We have already seen eBay losing to AliBaba and Google losing to Baidu. Let’s see if PayPal can achieve a different outcome for a change.
When Google had a fallout with the Chinese government and threatened to pull out Google services from China, Microsoft kept quite and now we know Microsoft had some ulterior motives. Of course who wants to come in wrong terms with the huge Chinese tech savvy population? Motorola, who shared a strong bond with Google with the launch of Motorola DROID back in late 2009 has also ditched Google for Microsoft.
Motorola and Microsoft are going to come up with Android devices in China with Bing Search and Maps. Here’s what Motorola Spokesperson had to say:
We believe that consumer choice is one of the most critical components to ensuring a rich and seamless client experience,said Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president of software and services, Motorola Mobile Devices. Motorola and Microsoft have enjoyed a longstanding collaboration and the addition of Bing services to our Android-based smartphones in China is another important step in empowering our end-users.
Bing has come out with some unique features in last couple of weeks and has registered to be an instant hit among the users. Of course, users can opt to use Google search instead, from their browser and install Google maps app, but this is a big move for Microsoft to gain the market.
Image courtesy: Androidauthority.com
A few months ago, Google was hacked by Chinese hackers. This led to a big furore and Google said that they would no longer censor search results in China. However, it has been almost 2 months now and Google is still censoring search results in China.
How to know that? A post on Blogoscoped pointed out on how users can find out whether or not Google is censoring search results in China. The search they did was for "human rights" on Google.cn, and it had some text at the bottom of the post which reads "æ®å½“åœ°æ³•å¾‹æ³•è§„å’Œæ”¿ç–ï¼Œéƒ¨åˆ†æœç´¢ç»“æžœæœªäºˆæ˜¾ç¤ºã€‚" and translates to "According to local laws, regulations and policies, some search results are not shown."
I tried this with few other search queries including "Dalai Lama" and all of them had the same disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
So is Google just doing the big talk here with a twisted aim in their board rooms of not leaving China, because they are one of the most lucrative markets to be in, or is this because Google themselves have no clue on what further steps they should take in order to address their own problems.
Whatever the reasons, I hope that next time Google does not make a big claim about doing something, which they do not intend to do.
China is on its way to make a new indigenous supercomputer build with custom microprocessors developed at the Institute Of Computing Technology. This supercomputer, the petascale Dawning 6000 is a successor of the current fastest supercomputer China has, the Dawning 5000a. The Dawning 5000a has been running on AMD powered microprocessors and Windows HPC Server as it’s OS. The Dawning 5000a ranks 11th in the world. Apart from that, China also holds the #5 supercomputer in the top 500 list.
Surprisingly though, the Loongson processor family has been used on low power netbooks and similar miniature devices.This is a major step for the company and the chief architect of this family of processors Weiwu Hu is really looking forward to this. A fact that needs to be mentioned here is that this is not the first time Loongson has gotten hold of a deal for a supercomputer. It did get a deal for the Dawning 5000a but failed to deliver in time and also lacked support for Windows.
If everything goes as planned, the supercomputer would be ready by mid 2010 and running by later this year. The microprocessors have been fed with the MIPS instruction set which is widely popular in embedded systems.
This supercomputer will not be just another trophy for Linux, it will let us unleash the power of Linux, yet again.
[ Via: Technologyreview ]
In a surprising move, the official Google blog posted an entry today about taking a new approach with China. The entry explains in detail how various hacking and phishing attempts have recently been detected that tried to access Gmail accounts of a number of human rights activists in China. These attempts had been originated in China and were very sophisticated.
These recent attempts combined with the heavy censorship that Google has to do in China, on request of Chinese authorities, has made Google take a bolder stance on the issue. The blog entry went as far ahead as saying
We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
In short, Google is telling the Chinese authorities that they won’t compromise on integrity and freedom of speech any more even if it results in Google closing down their business in China.
What does this mean for Google?
Google is giving the impression that the business and revenue they would lose from China is not really significant to them. According to a JP Morgan estimate, Google will lose $600 Million in revenue every year if they close their doors in China. This might be an insignificant source of revenue for Google right now (compared to their $26 Billion global revenue), but one should also consider the growth of internet in China and the potential revenue Google might be getting from the Chinese market 10 years down the road.
Some critics are also stating that Google had already decided to close down their business in China since they were not doing too well, and this recent move is just a marketing tactic to gain some positive PR on an already decided issue.
Do you think Google is doing the right thing?
China has been on a roll when it comes to blocking websites and banning internet services. Their list of banned websites is long and their rational for doing so is questionable at best. The most recent victim of the Chinese internet filtering is the IMDB website. Amazon owned IMDB (Internet Movie DataBase) is the most popular website for movie reviews, listings and information.
China reportedly blocked IMDB over a documentary focusing on Tibet and The Dalai Lama. The documentary titled “When The Dragon Swallowed The Sun” claims to have an unprecedented inside perspective on the Tibetan community in exile. The IMDB page for the movie also contains a 3 minute video teaser for the documentary. A quick search at IMDB shows that there is a lot of other information as well about “The Dalai Lama” and “Rebiya Kadeer”, the two most popular Tibetan figures, that might have provoked Chinese authorities to take this action.
China has previously also blocked YouTube, Facebook and Flickr inside the country and just recently banned individuals from registering domains. However, most of these blocked websites can still be accessed in China using proxy servers or other tools to browse the internet anonymously.
These actions taken by the Chinese authorities can be nicely summed up in the following image by Amar Toor of Switched.com: