Chinese ISP China Netcom has been redirecting Google, Yahoo and Microsoft search queries to Baidu, the most popular and local Chinese search engine.
Duncan Riley at TechCrunch reports that a friend of his in Shanghai witnessed Chinese ISP China NetCom was redirecting Google, MSN and Yahoo to Baidu.com. Later, more reports came in from other parts of China, reporting the redirecting of YouTube and other services.
If you can get past Duncan’s anti-Chinese rhetoric, China has done this in the past when US owned searh companies do not comply to Chinese law, but there is no documented reason for these redirects.
Duncan feels that the Chinese government is doing so for the benefit of the Nasdaq listed China NetCom:
The Chinese Government is clearly using its censorship regime to the economic benefit of a Chinese owned (but NASDAQ listed) company. Although the United States Government is a poor WTO member (Antigua anyone) given that China is a recent member the US Government should lodge a complaint with the WTO.
Barry has a theory that the move is in reaction to President Bush recognizing the Dalai Lama, the exiled political and religious leader of the Chinese territory Tibet.
Would the government of China do this to counteract the questionable move of the US? Let’s leave the for the political analysts to decide.
As more news comes out over the China redirects, we’ll be sure to update.