Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Checking Chinese Google Results

If you want to see the Chinese Google search results, set your browser language to Chinese (zh-cn) and go to To test, I searched for [Tiananmen Massacre]. While the results include good information from Wikipedia and such, and much resembles non-Chinese results, some pages are missing.

For example, a BBC page that reads the following has been censored:

“When it appeared the mainly student protesters could not be persuaded to leave, the Chinese Government said it would do whatever was necessary to stop this “social chaos”.

But the ferocity of its reaction - using tanks and guns on unarmed civilians - brought condemnation from around the world.

Human rights organisations estimate several hundred demonstrators were killed in the Chinese army’s brutal suppression of the protest.”

The URL of the page can also not be retrieved in a direct search for its URL using the “inurl” operator, while the same search for the URL yields a result on In short, Google agreed to censor a page from BBC to comply with Chinese law. At the bottom of the result page Google writes (translated from Chinese): “According to local laws and policies, some search results are not showing.” Showing this notice is definitely better than hiding the fact the user is deprived of a result.


I’ve tried a different search, entering [Falun Gong] into Chinese Google. The top result on features an article titled, “Falun Gong Evil and Harmful.” From the article:

“The preaching and deeds of the Falun Gong cult, which is harmful to the people, the society and the nation, have proved it is an evil force with an anti-society, anti-mankind and anti-civilization nature.”

Other results in the top 10 for this keyphrase – which returns no results at all in (but also no negative results) – read, “Outlawing Falun Gong Cult,” “Falun Gong Doctrine Self-contradicted,” “Falun Gong cult condemned for hindering SARS control,” and “Falun Gong’s anti-humanity, anti-science, anti-society nature.”

Now let’s compare this to what deems most relevant to the search; the results read, “Falun Dafa is a practice that has brought better health and inner peace to millions around the world,” “Falun Dafa and Falun Gong: what they are and why the Chinese government is terrified of them,” “Friends of Falun Gong USA,” and “Falun Gong - Wikipedia.”


Especially telling is a search for [FreeChina]. shows 19,400 pages on shows zero. Searching for [FreeChina] on shows a Chinese site as top result – itself. The second result snippet reads, “The first political opposition Party in China aiming to overthrow the brutal Chinese Communist rule in Mainland China.”

And what do you get as top result searching from Google China? This – song lyrics:

when we will be free? The answer is blowin’ in the wind

[Thanks Ah Nee.]


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