Google advises China users to use VPNs and proxies

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Google advises China users to use VPNs and proxies

Search giant worried Google Apps will be blocked.

Google has urged customers of its online applications in China to consider "networking configuration and associated technologies" to ensure ongoing access in the region.

The announcement follows the company's decision earlier this week to stop its censorship of search services on its Chinese domain and reroute all Chinese-simplified language searches from Google.cn to its Google.com.hk Hong Kong site.

"First, we very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that China could at any time block access to our services in mainland China," Google said in a blog posting yesterday.

"We will be carefully monitoring access issues, and we have created this new web page [Mainland China service availability] which we will update regularly each day so that you can see which Google services are available in China."

In the meantime, the web giant urged users to investigate network configurations, such as a virtual private network connection, secure shell tunnelling or a proxy server.

"Companies should consult their own technical, legal and policy personnel to find a solution that works best for them," Google added.

The company also reassured its customers that no data or Google Apps services are hosted in China, and that Google employees working from mainland China do not have access to such systems or data.

Google's decision to stop censoring its Chinese search services followed the discovery in January of sophisticated cyber attacks against its systems which were apparently traced back to China.

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