Google China is a branch of Google, Inc., the most popular search engine in the world. Google China is the number two search engine in China, following closely behind Baidu.
Founded in 2005, Google China was originally run by Kai-Fu Lee, a founder and former executive of Microsoft Research Asia. Its original office was situated at NCI Tower. In 2006 the Beijing office was transferred to Tsinghua Science Park, to a ten-story building near the south gate of the University.
In 2005, a Chinese-language interface was created for the website, and a year later Google released its China-based web search page. Its results were censored by the Chinese government. In 2009 the government blocked Google’s Youtube and other Google services. In 2010, Google publicized that it had been hacked, and that they would no longer allow search censoring. Later that year they began redirecting all searches from Google.cn to Google.com.hk (Google Hong Kong), and by doing so, they enabled uncensored searches and results.
According to an article on CNN, in retrospect, Kai-Fu Lee said that “if one looks at China’s behavior over a long horizon, 20 or 30 years, it’s clear that the trend is toward more openness. The incidents that led to Google’s retreat were “a perturbation” in this movement, mainly because Chinese leaders had reached their limits. “The next generation will come up in less than two years,” he says. “They’re younger, more progressive, many American-trained, and many have worked in businesses and run banks — they’re going to be more open.””