Tag Archives: Google China

Gmail China Hijacked by Chinese Hackers

Gmail has been revamping its contact manager and UI, however, in another part of the world, China to be specific, Gmail users are being scammed by hackers into giving away their usernames and passwords.

gmail_phishing_china

According to reports from Fast Company, for the past few weeks, several Gmail users are being redirected to a phishing site as seen in the screenshot above (courtesy FC) when they access Gmail.com. This also happens when they access Gmail through the Google toolbar.

This is not the first time that Google has had a problem in China, earlier this year, some high profile Gmail accounts were hacked, leading Google to stop their search service in China and threaten a complete pullout from China. However, Google did not pullout of China and renewed their operating license last month.

The current redirection of the Gmail domain to a phishing site definitely looks like a DNS hack which might not have propagated fully, which is why only few users are being redirected to the phishing website. However, Google might have definitely rectified the issue by now, but this goes on to show that Google definitely is on receiving end in China.

Update: A Google Spokesperson Jay Nancarrow reached out to us to clarify about the issue Gmail users are facing in China, the statement is embedded below.

This phishing attempt is not unique to Gmail and should not be misconstrued. As always, users should be careful about where they share their personal information, and should avoid clicking through warnings about suspicious sites. We encourage Gmail users to visit https://mail.google.com directly

He also adds that this is on background and not for attribution, but the same IP address hosting the fake Gmail URL has hosted phishing pages for other popular online services in the past. Screenshots indicate that this URL was being flagged by our Safe Browsing tool as a suspicious site, which would have warned users before viewing the page.

Google Expects Chinese Government To Renew Operating License

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that he expected the Chinese government to renew their license which would allow Google to continue to offer search and other services to Chinese users.

rip_google_china[1]

Google who has been at loggerheads with the Chinese Government over a hacking of some accounts had threatened to move out of China in January. They did close down their China operations and began redirecting all the Chinese users to the uncensored Hong Kong domain.

The Chinese government did not approve of this and threatened to oust Google to which Google stopped redirecting users and began sending users to a new landing page. Now after all these months the time has come when Google has to renew its license in China and it might be tough if not impossible.

However, Eric Schmidt is confident that the Chinese government will renew its operating license and continue to allow Google to operate its search and other businesses there.

Addressing a topic that has been hanging over the company for months—the fate of its business in China, he said the company now expects to have its operating license from the Chinese government renewed, allowing it to continue to offer search services to Chinese users.

It is not clear if Google will be offering search through the Chinese domain and whether they will start censoring the results as it used to do earlier after their license is renewed.

(Source: WSJ)

Chinese Government Throws Google a Lemon: Google Tries to Make Lemonade

Google-China Back in January, Google threatened to pull out of China and promised to stop censoring results served to Chinese users. They followed through on their promise in March and started redirected all Google.cn users to the uncensored Google.hk domain. Quite obviously, this didn’t sit well with the government of China.

Although, the government didn’t officially react to Google’s move, they must have privately made their displeasure known to Google. Google’s David Drummond has now revealed that the Chinese government won’t renew Google’s Internet Content Provider license, if Google didn’t stop redirecting users to the Hong Kong site. Google’s ICP license is up for renewal on June 30 and without an ICP license Google would basically go dark in mainland China.

Contrary to Google’s initial assertion, it appears that Google isn’t quite ready to face the prospect of “having to shut down Google.cn”. Google has backtracked slightly from their original stance and will stop redirecting users to its Hong Kong services. Instead, Google will direct Chinese users to a new landing page that will prominently link to Google.hk, which the users must browse to, if they wish to use Google Search. Google will provide only services like music and translation from its Chinese domain name.

It will be interesting to see if Google’s clever bit of maneuvering is sufficient for the Chinese government. If it is not, then Google’s determinedness to do the right thing will be really tested.

Did The Great Firewall of China Close Its Gates? Google Search Appears To Be Completely Blocked

Google-Search-Blocked-China Earlier in the day, we reported that certain Google Mobile services were being blocked in China. However, according to latest reports, it now appears that China is blocking Google Search completely.

Google’s official ‘Evil Meter‘ still indicates that there are no issues with Google Search in China. However, that would possibly change in the coming hours. Google is yet to offer any statement, but it is investigating the issue.

It is possible that this is just a technical glitch and the Chinese government hasn’t yet blocked Google Search. However, something like this was always on the cards, ever since Google started offering uncensored search results in China.

The tussle between Google and the Chinese government was triggered by highly sophisticated hacking attempts on Google and several other companies. In an explosive blog post, Google had threatened to quit China and promised to serve uncensored search results. Google followed through on their threats last week.

China Blocking Some Google Search Results

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.

RIP Google 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 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.

Letter From a Stranded Google China User Who Is A Foreigner And Wants Google In English

Google recently shut down their operations in China by redirecting Google.cn to Google.com.hk, however, that is not the only restriction they have put in place. Google is also redirecting all the Google.com and Google.com/ncr, which provides global access to Google sites in English, irrespective of location when it is accessed from anywhere including China.

One of our readers had several problems when accessing Google from China, even when the person tried accessing the global site. Here is what the unidentified commentator had to say:

I am a foreigner stationed in China. For all these years I had happily been able to use search at Google.com (NOT .cn) – as it had never been banned/censored in China. There had always been an option "Google in English" which was linked to Google.com, and voila – you were out of restricted area.

Not any more. From today I am being forcefully redirected to google.com.hk which I don’t want to use.

Trying to get through to http://www.google.com/ncr does not help: I am turned back to .hk.

Not that is is better or worse, I just DO NOT WANT TO BE REDIRECTED ANYWHERE.

Guys at Google now did exactly what the Chinese authorities didn’t: removed my freedom to search for the information where I choose to.

Such a disgrace.

The Google withdrawal may have led so many people who rely on the search engine to be delivered in English/their language without restriction to now actually just be redirected to a Chinese site which they may not understand.

Did Google even estimate or think or providing an option for users to actually switch their languages to English, or can we expect hundreds of thousands of users to switch to Yahoo, who are one of the biggest successes in China?

Google China (Google.cn) Shuts Down, Redirects To Google Hong Kong

Google has finally hit the long standing nail on the Google China coffin and packed it off to Hong Kong. Users who visit Google.cn are now automatically redirected to Google.com.hk, effectively ending search censorship in China.

In a saga which has now stretched a few months, Google has finally stopped operations in China and will no longer censor search results in China. The move which was sparked when Chinese hackers hacked into the email account of some diplomats also dubbed as Operation Aurora which may have included some Google Employees.

Google had claimed that they would move out of China by April 10th, however that move came in earlier than expected. We had also spotted that Google was already censoring some search results as early as last week.

Google has also created a new page which displays the status of Google services in China, some of the services including and Blogger have been blocked for a long time now. However, I am wondering how quickly those green tick marks will turn into red cross marks now.

Google China Service Status

Back in January, we told you how some Chinese users of Google were offering condolences to Google China, however, let the real condolences pour through now.

This is not the end, the battle has just begun. The developments of the next few weeks and months will be pretty interesting to say the least. Don’t worry, we will keep you in the loop.

All The Google Big Talk And They Still Censor Search in China

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 "据当地法律法规和政策,部分搜索结果未予显示。" and translates to "According to local laws, regulations and policies, some search results are not shown."

Google China Translation

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.

Google China Gets a New Doodle Representing 4 Inventions in China

The Google China controversy has snowballed into a huge media event and has already received condolences from Chinese users. However, it looks like Google is continuing to do what they do, before they may or may not pull out operations from China.

Google China Doodle

If you visit Google’s China page today (http://ww.google.cn), you will be greeted with a which showcases the 4 great inventions of China.

What are the 4 Great Inventions?

  1. Paper Making
  2. The Compass
  3. Gun Powder
  4. Movable Type

If you want to read more about the inventions, you can visit this page (English Translation). Incidentally the first result which shows up on clicking on the Google Doodle is from Baidu, the biggest search engine in China.