Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Clarification on Google, China, and Chinese College Students

My series of posts "Google, China, and Chinese College Students" (Part I, Part II, Part III), which in part describes the impact of a speech by Hillary Clinton on many Chinese college students' impression of Google, needs a clarification.  A representative for Google wrote in to say:

"I'm with the Google Communications team, and I wanted to reach out regarding your recent post, "Google, China, and Chinese College Students - Part III."

 Specifically, I'd like to address a factual point about Google's servers and our business in Hong Kong. Your post includes the phrase, "when Google chose to move its servers to Hong Kong." This characterization is not quite accurate because there was no transfer of servers. It would be more accurate to say, "when Google chose to direct some of its services to its servers in Hong Kong.""

What Google describes above is what I intended to communicate and the post was updated accordingly.  It's a good lesson in the challenges of writing about a complex matter that spans politics, technology, culture, etc.

This brings to mind some issues I didn't get into (there is so much I could have discussed) such as Chinese college students' perception of any changes in Google's services and how they're delivered.  For example, many students were not aware of any changes, even if they were aware of the dispute.  On the whole this may be a very good thing for Google.

Anyways, always glad to make sure I have things as right as possible.

[Added note: See here for further thoughts and clarifications]

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