Young adult fiction author, blogger, race car driver and current flavor of the month for American journalists and bloggers who cover China, recently posted a rather acerbic post that included a section on Google leaving China.
The post was deleted from his Sina blog, but copied on to another Sina blog which is still available in Google's cache.
The post is translated below by Julian Smisek:
What do you want to say regarding Google's exit from China?
I don't want to say anything. Google is a good company, and my phone uses Google's system. But regarding this event, as long as what you have to say is politically sensitive, whatever you say won't be of any use. The final outcome won't be good. It's nothing for them to delete your little essay. Google is not playing anymore. It withdrew to Hong Kong, and might even go back to America. If China's authors or media say anything sensible about this event, they also will be forced to stop playing. And where can they retreat to?
In truth, whatever Google's real reason for its decision actually is, it made a mistake when it announced its rationale. Google said that it was no longer willing censor sensitive content. Pay attention, the sensitive content it's referring to is not pornographic content. Government officials have never been sensitive to pornographic content. Not only are they not sensitive, I'd reckon that they're about as insensitive as numb dicks. The so-called sensitive content that Google is referring to is actually content that is not conducive to the government's interests. Still, how many real Chinese people actually care about the "opening up" of the "censored results?" In a normal country, the few that do could move people's reason, but in China they probably aren't much use.
China has 200 million netizens. If Google asked them whether they want to see uncensored content, I'd bet 200 million -- minus certain internet commentators -- would answer in the affirmative. Of course, this is just like buying food. People are always happier when you give them more. However, if Baidu offered to give netizens 10 RMB as long as they not only installed a new browser that blocked Google, but also used a search engine whose results entirely met -- or even exceeded -- China's laws and regulations, I bet more than half would accept.
Do Chinese people seek out dangerous universal ideals? Chinese people seek them, but they seek them at their convenience. To a lot of Chinese people, the value of seeking such things is not nearly as high as seeking an apartment building or an online game to play. Because everyone's life is so high pressure, they don't have any ideals. A mouthful of dirty rice is enough. There's no big difference between eating it while kneeling or eating it while standing up. Perhaps Google thought that freedom, truth, justice, and other such things would mean a lot to a large portion of Chinese netizens. But in reality, these things are nothing compared to a finding a 100 RMB bill on the street.
Really, Google would have been better off saying that it was leaving because China Central Television was framing it. That would be a bit more effective. Google's stated reasons for leaving do not resonate with the majority of Chinese citizens – there's nothing there for them to identify with. This is a race of people who can eat genetically modified grain and oil distilled from recycled food scraps, drink melamine-infused milk, and take inferior vaccines. Their tolerance is higher than you can imagine. Their needs are lower than you can imagine.
The original Chinese text is copied below.