Timeline of Google events in China

The internet censorship in China has been a topic for a while. Lately google redirected CN domain(http://www.google.cn) to the uncensored Hongkong site(http://www.google.com.hk). It is considered to be a significant decision for both Google and China. Let’s take a overall view and see how does Google get there.

2002 Jun  China moves to block internet portals. Without warning or explaination, Google.com became inaccessable in China temporarily.

*2003 Nov  A internet censoring system called the Great Firewall has been launched by Chinese government. Even though some sites on the blacklist of Chinese governmet still display in the result of google, but access to these sites were disabled.

2004 Jun  Google invested $499 million in Baidu, the Chinese search engine, which shows Google’s interest in this emerging market.

2004 Sep  The content against Chinese government were moved off its Chinese searching result by Google for the first time. Google explained this as by technical reasons.

2004 Sep  The first office in Greater China region was established in Hongkong.

2005 Jul  Kaifu Lee left Microsoft and joined Google to help founding of Google China. A legal dispute between the two tech giants was caused due to his personal move.

2006 Jan  Google.cn was launched in Mainland China. Here is the offical blog post. Google.cn filters sensitive information off its searching result according to Chinese regulations.

*2006 Feb  A Congressional hearing for four companies including Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, was held for their cooperation in net censorship with Chinese government .

2007 Jan  In one year, Google gained 19% of the Chinese market share and became the second on the rank, while 63% for its main competitior Baidu. Since then Google China started cooperation with several Chinese companies to expand its service and products.

2007 Apr Google admits its sites pinyin input method was not solely built by Google after Chinese company Sohu claims it pirated its software code.

2009 Mar  Because of the video files displaying the situation of the 2008 Tibetan Unrest , Youtube was blocked.

2009 Jun  The CCTV program Focus Interview reported that Google.cn carried large amounts of pornographic and vulgar information. Google was accused of spreading obscene content by a Chinese official one day after difficulties for Chinese users to access Google.com and gmail.

2009 Sep  The news of resignation of Kaifu Lee was released surprisingly. Under his leadership, Google.cn reached 30% of the Chinese market from zero.

2009 Oct  China author set to sue Google over web book scan.

2010 Jan  SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond gave a statement that Google would no longer censor its Chinese search results and might pull out of China via a blog post. Also revealed the cyber attacks towards Google and other American companies.

2010 Mar  Li Yizhong, Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology insisted that Google must obey its laws or “pay the consequences,”

2010 Mar  Google redirected its CN domain to Google.com.hk, which means Google halted its self-censoring in China.


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