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?