"Users visiting are now being redirected to hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong,” chief legal officer David Drummond wrote.
China requires Internet service providers to censor words and images that the ruling Communist Party says are illegal or unacceptable.
Google had been negotiating with Beijing about the right to continue hosting a search service in China without filtering results according to Chinese law.
“Earlier today we stopped censoring our search services" for China's 400 million Internet users, the company blog said.
“The spat between the Chinese government and Google is currently being handled through secret negotiations.
We hope it can proceed in a more transparent way, allowing both netizens and citizens to participate, and can be settled in a responsible manner,” Du urged.
The letter also called for more transparency on the status and detail of the negotiations. S.-based internet technology expert Du Dongjin, one of the letter’s authors, said Google’s decision concerns “Chinese netizens as well as long-term cyber-development in China.” “There is no organization in China that can guarantee the interest of netizens.
As a member of that constituency, I wish to speak out and to cause widespread repercussions,” Du said.
“At present, we can see that people are continuously rushing to the front of the fight, putting tremendous pressure on China’s rulers.
The open letter immediately attracted the attention of Chinese netizens and was re-posted more than 1,000 times on blogs and microblogging platforms.
"For the last several years, Google has yielded to pressure from the government. "Now the company has made its stand clear, so it should inform the public about its dark past." Postings on popular Chinese content sites sina.com, baidu.com, and were deleted by Monday.
How was censorship decided for topics such as mining disasters, the brick-kiln slave children, ..., violent evictions, the tainted milk powder, the waitress who stabbed a sex-demanding official, the Hubei provincial governor’s confiscation of a journalist’s recorder and other incidents,” the letter asks.
“We cannot accept this violation of the population’s right to access such matters of public interest,” it states.