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Han Han on Google leaving China - deleted post

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.

3:对于谷歌退出中国,你有什么要说的?

我没什么要说的,谷歌是一个很好的公司,我的手机用的都是谷歌的系统。但是关于这件事情,你只要有一些新闻和政治敏感度,你就知道你说什么都没用,下场都不会很好,删了你的文章还算是小事。谷歌不玩了,他退去了香港,甚至可以回美国,但是作为中丨国的作者或者媒体从业者,如果说了一些人话,他被迫不能玩了,他能退到哪里去呢?
事实上,无论谷歌是做这个决定的真正原因是什么,在展现给公众的说法上,谷歌有一个失策,谷歌说,他不想再接受敏感内容的审核了。注意,这里说的敏感内容其实不是指情色内容,官方对情色内容从来都不敏感,不光不敏感,估计官员们都已经搞到龟头麻木了。这里所谓的敏感内容只是指不利于政府利益的内容。但是所谓的开放所有审查结果,现实的中国人有多少人在乎呢?这些在正常的国家可以感动国人的理由,在中国看似不太管用。
中国有两亿网民,谷歌如果问大家是不是想看到不被审核以后的搜索内容,我想应该有两亿减去网络评论员人数都会答应,当然,这就像买菜,你多给人家一点人家总是乐意的。但是如果百度给每个网民十块钱人民币,说只要下载了百度新开发的屏蔽谷歌搜索的浏览器,并且使用我的不光完全遵守而且超额遵守中国“法律法规”的搜索引擎作为唯一指定搜索引擎,你们就可以得到这个钱,估计得有一大半人变节。中国人追求那些危险的普世价值么?中国人追求的,但中国人是顺便追求,追求那些东西在很多人心中的价值未必有追求新开盘的一个楼盘或者追求一点网络游戏中的装备那么高,因为大家的生活压力都这么大,理想都没有,混口饭吃就行了,你跪着吃和站这吃有什么区别呢。谷歌可能高估了自由,真相,公正,叉叉等东西在中国很大一部分网民心目中的价值,这些都没有路上捡到一百块钱实在。
真的,谷歌还不如说自己老是被中央电视台陷害所以退出更实在一点。谷歌所说的那些理由,无法让这个民族的大部分人民认同和共鸣。一个能吃转基因粮,地沟油菜,三聚氰胺奶,打劣质疫苗针的民族,他们的忍耐力是你所不能想象的高,他们的需求是你所不能想象的低。

There are currently 6 Comments for Han Han on Google leaving China - deleted post.

Comments on Han Han on Google leaving China - deleted post

awesome. i can see why this is fauna's favorite chinese blogger.

It is interesting to see that Han is little by little moving to more serious writing, at least I get this impression from his blog lately.

A couple of weeks ago he had an article about how the "shitizens" distrust local authorities and always believe that appealing to higher governmenr bodies will solve their problem, but actually those higher authorities don't care about them. Of course the post didn't mention openly the central gov, but it was a very clear criticism to the whole system, pushing the thin line of what can be said...

On the other hand, when Han tries to do serious stuff he tends to mess it up very often. I guess the king of rallyes and teenagers cannot be asked to do some proper research work, 200 million netizens, WTF?

Interesting. But a buck fifty would not stir any Chinese I know. And his critisism of local government is pretty much what you can hear in any pub, or read in on blog, or newspaper in the UK.Things are not great in China. But its progressing.Albiet slowly.
I guess they need to see this kind of essay, regularly and often, to give them encouragement.

from that standpoint this is a useful blurb.

What is the evidence that things are slowly getting better? If you look at the reports from the International Federation of Journalists, you can see that repression of freedom of speech has actually got worse in recently.
By the way there are some mistakes in this translation: 混口饭吃 means to scrape a living, 地沟油菜 is food cooked with oil recylced from sewers, 搞到龟头麻木了, means fucked their dicks numb.

"Things are not great in China. But its progressing.Albiet slowly."

The first part of this quote is just fine. The last bit is not. In the areas of poverty reduction and freedom of expression, for example, things have been getting worse. The GDP fetishists may argue that China is kicking global economic ass, but you really ought not listen to such people.

The deletion of Han Han's blog post is just too pathetic. I'm embarrassed for whoever is responsible.

Lu Xun's style, reborn

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