Google (nasdaq: GOOG – news – people ) caught flak when it caved in to pressure by China’s government censors to filter Web search results. Yahoo (nasdaq: YHOO – news – people ), MSN and all of the Chinese search services play ball with censors, too. Despite that and despite the fact that Google discloses when results are filtered and has pointedly declared its reluctance to cooperate, it was branded an amoral collaborator.
And Google’s join-’em-if-you-can’t-beat-’em act isn’t working, either. The search race in China, the world’s second-largest base of Internet users, is going to the home team. While Google has been sleeping on its big name, China-born Baidu.com (nasdaq: BIDU – news – people ) in 2003 started upgrading search functionality and speed and promoting its name and services, especially on campuses, where “googling” was blocked before August 2005. [Full Text, need to register,free]