Week in review: Google's road to Hong Kong

Web giant makes good on censorship threat, while legal shenanigans abound in Viacom vs. Google. Also: putting green into going green.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
3 min read

Google made good on its promise to stop censoring search results in China.

The company shut down its Google.cn site this week and is redirecting users to Google.com.hk, where it offers uncensored Chinese-language search services. The company will maintain a research and development organization in China as well as a sales office.

Google first signaled its intention to change its stance on China in January, when it announced that it no longer intended to censor its search results there and would shut down Google.cn if an agreement could not be reached with the Chinese government. The company had also hinted that it might consider pulling out the country entirely.

Hong Kong enjoys special legal rights that most of China does not, under the "one country, two systems" approach, allowing Google to remain technically inside of China but free to offer an uncensored search engine. But the vast majority of Chinese Internet users sit behind the so-called Great Firewall of China, which gives the Chinese government the ability to restrict certain Web sites from appearing on computers in China.

Chinese Internet users can still access Google.com.hk, calming fears of those who thought China would impose the same total ban on Google search that it has long had on services like Google's Blogger and YouTube. But in some cases, users are being prevented from clicking through to Web sites listed in search results for topics deemed sensitive by the government.
•  China issues media rules for stories on Google
•  Google addresses e-mail, apps concerns in China
•  GoDaddy to stop registering domains in China
•  Bug displays Google corporate site in Chinese
•  Chinese media slam Google as 'politicized'
•  In post-Google China, censorship is unfazed

More headlines

Judge looking into leaks in Google-Viacom fight

Two CNET stories published in October have prompted a search into where the information came from. A federal judge is expected to hold a meeting Friday to discuss the investigation's progress.
•  In Viacom vs. Google, legal shenanigans abound

Apple director almost quit over Jobs' health

Jerry York, who died last week, was reportedly "disgusted" by the Apple chief's failure to explain the seriousness of his illness last January.

Facebook: That ad is not actually targeted

The social network is allegedly cracking down on ads that look like they're specifically targeted to members but are generic.
•  Is Facebook to blame for U.K. rise in syphilis?
•  Boss' Facebook message tells teen she's fired

Microsoft, Google eye Twitter-like services for work

After testing microblogging services within their own walls, the two giants see broader opportunities in giving companies their own internal Twitters.
•  Cops: Notorious Twitter hacker caught, released

Amazon unveils Kindle app for iPad

With the iPad release less than two weeks away, Amazon details plans to release a Kindle app for the Apple device and other tablet computers.
•  Will Amazon drop the Kindle's price?
•  Make room, iPad: AT&T to sell Intel-based tablet too

AT&T execs want more spectrum, lighter regulation

AT&T executives speaking at the CTIA wireless show want the government to adopt policies to keep growth and investment in wireless going.
•  Can 4G wireless take on traditional broadband?
•  Sprint unveils first 4G phone
•  T-Mobile claims to soon have fastest 3G in U.S.
•  T-Mobile announces first Netbook for 3G network

In clean energy, U.S. innovates but builds slowly

Study handicaps winners in the global clean-energy race and finds China pulling ahead, with the U.S. strong in technology but lagging in attracting investment.
•  Cisco investing in smart grid start-up
•  GE announces major wind investment in Europe

Firefox 3.6.2 addresses critical vulnerability

A Web-based font issue could let remote attackers have their way with your computer. Mozilla issues Firefox 3.6.2 to fix the problem.
•  Mozilla halts work on Windows Mobile browser

Also of note

•  YouTube cancels RealTime social video sharing
•  Malware delivered by Yahoo, Fox, Google ads
•  Netflix's Wii rollout begins