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China’s monthlong block of Google hits businesses

Published time: July 02, 2014 12:27
Edited time: July 02, 2014 14:47
A bouquet of flowers lies on the Google logo outside the company's China head office in Beijing on March 23, 2010 after the US web giant said it would no longer filter results and was redirecting mainland Chinese users to an uncensored site in Hong Kong — effectively closing down the mainland site. (AFP Photo / Li Xin)

A bouquet of flowers lies on the Google logo outside the company's China head office in Beijing on March 23, 2010 after the US web giant said it would no longer filter results and was redirecting mainland Chinese users to an uncensored site in Hong Kong — effectively closing down the mainland site. (AFP Photo / Li Xin)

Chinese business says it’s being increasingly hit by a monthlong government clampdown on Google, and is realizing how reliant it is on the service. The controls are part of Chinese government attempts to reduce foreign influence it considers pernicious.

Since 2009 when Google stopped censoring searches, the service has been subjected to a cycle of impediments from Chinese authorities. The last restriction of such scale was in November and lasted just a few days during the Communist Party’s Third Plenum, the Financial Times (FT) reports.

The so-called Great Firewall, a censorship and surveillance project operated by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, was designed to block subversive content on the national internet and has been implemented against Facebook, Twitter, and Google content.

Taxi cab operators and smartphone online gamblers as well as real estate companies all felt the impact of the restrictions on their activities.

Our global business runs on Gmail,” FT quotes Francis Bea of PapayaMobile, a Chinese mobile technology company. “It can be hugely frustrating.

A lion’s share of PapayaMobile revenue comes from software selling through the Google Play online marketplace. In particular the Slots Fever game developed by the Beijing-based company was named the Google App store’s 20th highest grossing game in 2013.

If there are any disruptions with Google products, it can slow down productivity especially for a company that has international reach,” said Mr Bea.

Besides the interference to online shopping, Google Maps are also subject to the restrictions.

Uber taxi, an $18 billion transport company, faced difficulties when routes failed to load on its app which is based on Google Maps, according to Financial Times tests.

However Uber said it “has not experienced or received negative user feedback on this matter.

In order to avoid the access problem, many users use a virtual private network connection.

We’ve checked extensively and there are no problems on our end,” a Google spokesperson said.

Property websites such as Juwai.com and Sina.com also faced difficulties with showing the location of real estate such as St. Tropez villas or Pacific Heights mansions. Neither Google Maps, nor Google Street View which are part of both websites could provide customers with the location of choice.

Sometimes they load and sometimes they don’t,” said Juwai.

Meanwhile Sina has already switched some of the listings to maps on Autonavi, a Chinese mapping service owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Comments (14)

 

Tom Anderson 09.07.2014 14:56

“Our global business runs on Gmail,” FT quotes Francis Bea of PapayaMobile, a Chinese mobile technology company. “It can be hugely frustrating.

What sort of idiot would run a global business, (or any business at all) on Gmail? Next he'll be saying they do their accounts on Google Drive.

 

Frakity Frak 03.07.2014 08:20

matt, it looks like you might get fired for not meeting your quota, or just having weak arguments. why dont u tell us some of your other names so we can evaluate your work? u might want to just stick to the script and stop trying to get creative. can i call you stupid a third time? hey, i dont really care what gugol play is. i dont use it or plan to. like i said, if they want to run a foreign business, then let them do it through a 18rmb/month vpn. i still dont think gugol should be unblocked to please the .001%. national security should trump foreigners selling apps on an android market.

 

Matt 03.07.2014 08:08

@Frakity Frak

Wow, that was a lot of comments. Do you get payed by the word? Also, it's early in the month and you're off to a fast start so you should easily hit your quota of posts.

Anyw ay, you called me stupid twice and yet you don't know that Google Play is a marketplace for Android apps. The company, PapayaMobile, quoted in the article has an international business. and doesn't limit itself to China. It sells software through Google Play, but it's hard to do that when China is blocking Google. And why switch to Chinese products that are only used in China when you all your products international?

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