Google and Baidu, Pornography and Protectionism

Is Beijing’s reining in of Google trade protectionism–or a shake down?

The FT reported that Google has ben ordered to stop users of its Chinese-language service accessing overseas web sites. The directive is to suspend foreign searches and a feature that automatically suggests multiple search results once typing commences in the search window, according to the report. The FT suggests that

the move against Google appeared to be an attempt to deflect attention away from the domestic censorship uproar by redirecting concerns about pornography against a foreign company.

Authorities say Google is being “punished” for linking to pornographic content.

But Baidu, a domestic search engine that holds a 59% market share, is not subject to the same restrictions, according to Digital Beat. The site also suggests that CCTV has been less on Baidu’s back since it started throwing some sponsorship dollars the state broadcaster’s way.

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