Google has announced that it will be moving its Chinese language search operations to Hong Kong.The company said that all Chinese-simplified language searches will be rerouted from Google.cn to the Google.com.hk domain. Google warned that the increased traffic may temporarily slow down the Hong Kong servers.The transition comes following months of failed negotiations between the company and the Chinese government over the issue of censorship. In announcing the move on the company's official blog, Google senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer David Drummond cited censorship as the main issue between the two parties."We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement," he wrote."We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we've faced, it's entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China."The debate over censorship came to a head earlier this year when Google revealed that its servers had been attacked by individuals believed to be working with China's government. Additionally, the company said that authorities had been breaking into the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.The move follows several days of reports from Chinese state media services accusing the company of attempting to subvert Chinese culture and unfairly singling out China's government.The reports also claim that Google would completely shut down its operations in China by 10 April. The company did not specifically address the media claims, but did note that the decision to move its Chinese language sites to Hong Kong was made entirely by US executives and that employees in China were in no way responsible.
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