Washington, Mar 23(ANI): After prolonged negotiations with the Chinese Government over the country's Internet censorship rules, Google finally decided to pull out its China-based website and has began redirecting traffic to an uncensored site in Hong Kong.
Google, however, said that it hopes to keep sales, research and development operations in China.
"We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our iscussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement," The Christian Science Monitor quoted David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, as saying in a statement.
"We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we've faced - it's entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China," he added.
Meanwhile, many online free speech advocates believe that the decision to shift base to Hong Kong could be a precursor to a complete departure from China.
"Whether the Chinese people will be able to take advantage of Google search now rests squarely with the Chinese government," Leslie Harris, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, said in a statement.
"If China blocks access, it will finally make clear to the Chinese people who is pulling the levers of censorship in the country," he added. (ANI)