Google will now redirect search queries to its Hong Kong office, where Google is not legally required to censor searches. The move does not allow Chinese citizens unrestricted access to web content. What it does do is “shift the burden of censorship from Google to the Chinese government”, reports Clayton Emerson, VP of Development at Tortola Capital.
What will the move mean for US-China political relations? Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China had a right to filter content deemed harmful to society and national security and Google's response should not harm wider relations with the United States. "The Google incident is just an individual action taken by a business company, and I can't see its impact on China-U.S. relations unless someone wants to politicize that," Qin said.