Google and China

Lots going on today re: Google’s decision to possibly back out of China.

Harry McCracken, a VIP, just posted Exactly Right, Google. Exactly Right with a great summary of what this all means:

For as long as western companies have been doing business in China–under Chinese laws–there’s been a fundamental question that’s been a subject of immense controversy: Are they helping to make China more free, or are they helping the Chinese government prevent more freedom?

Until now, Google has been one of a number of U.S. Web companies that has willingly provided a censored version of its services in China as a prerequisite of doing business there. It’s maintained that providing the Chinese people with access to some information is better than denying them access to Google entirely, and its Chinese search engine has carried a disclaimer that some links are suppressed.

He also mentioned this:

“But I’m very proud of the fact that Automattic, the creators of WordPress and the company that hosts Techologizer, has refused to censor blogs in China”

It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens next.