Google has reluctantly conceded defeat in its latest effort to combat online censorship in China, after a year of behind-the-scenes brinkmanship over sensitive search terms banned by authorities.
The search company has quietly dropped a warning message shown to Chinese users when they search for politically sensitive phrases, after Beijing found new ways to cut them off from the web.
Google and Chinese authorities have been involved in a tense game of cat-and-mouse over the issue since May last year, when the feature was unveiled by the UScompany in an attempt to improve search for Chinese citizens.
The standoff came to a head in December, when Google finally decided to drop the feature because users were still being disconnected by Chinese authorities.
I'm wondering how long its going to take the Chinese to rise up and demand greater freedom of speech, especially online. Google should know what they're dealing with, seen as statistics show that China is at the lower end of the Freedom House Index. Still, its quite interesting to observe the struggle between the authorities and one of the world's most powerful companies. Hopefully the right to search without constrictions will win out in the end.