As the people in China slept last night, Google was busy redirecting their Chinese site, http://www.google.cn, to Hong Kong, http://www.google.com.hk/, which will provide the Chinese with unfiltered search results. This is in defiance to the governments’ desire to filter the information provided to their countrymen. Google has also created a site that will provide the status of their available services in mainland China, http://www.google.com/prc/report.html#hl=en.
Now the whole world will be watching and aware of just when the People’s Republic of China (PRC) decides to shutdown the unfiltered search results, if they elect to. I often wonder if the PRC actually thought they could keep a lid on the Tiananmen Square protests which occurred over 20 years ago to an entire generation of their citizens. I am also curious as to what other important events the Chinese people are unaware of because of censorship. We Americans take for granted that information is always at our fingertips and will never tolerate censorship, but what if we never experienced unfiltered news and information? Hard to fathom how our lives would be affected and what we would do differently as a result of this information scrubbing. Would we be aware of an outbreak of E. Coli in the spinach crop from California’s central valley, or that water was rising up river on the Red River or how about which special interests are steering legislation in our nations capital? As I mentioned, I doubt we could imagine how a filtered internet would affect on our lives.
I’m not sure what the world will be like now in dealing with China and attempting to open their vast markets to foreign investments. We know that China’s economic growth, fueled by strong domestic demand, has been a bright spot during the global recession of the past few years. We also know that China is expected to report for the first time since April 2004 a trade deficit this March. That is a huge statement for businessmen attempting to expand their market and be seen in China. I am hopeful that foreign businessmen and the goods and services they provide will in fact continue to be found in the search results of our global neighbors. Internet marketing is truly a game changer and can help to level the playing field for your business to compete in a global market.