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2008-09-01

 

Why Godaddy.com was blocked by China without tears?

// updates: Some twitter users reported Godaddy.com can be accessed again in China from last night on. It's not surprising thinking of Sourceforge and Wikipedia's sufferings back and forth.

Domain registrar Godaddy.com was blocked in China about one week ago just after the closing of Olympic Games.  Same as usual, there's no any official explanation from authority on this blockage. Some bloggers like William Long in China guessed that it's because Godaddy provided a way for people to bypass CNNIC(The root institution managing .cn domains) to prevent people from registering domain names featuring the names of Chinese gold medallists.

screenshot of Godaddy.com tracert result

Isn't it funny? But the  most ironical thing is that Godaddy ever cooperated with China authority last year to suspend some human rights sites without warning last year to please China government.  This time, not surprisingly, the rope hang itself.

When I read recent comments from Google CEO Eric Schmidt at “The Big Tent” event in Denver, I realized why these two G- are wrong:

Schmidt noted that the Chinese have a “Great Firewall” for censoring internet work and is so secretive that it’s illegal to describe it. “A rough summary is that if you don’t say Falun Gong,” it’s okay. The question, said Schmidt, is whether the Chinese are better off with Google than without.--- via  Portfolio.com

Either blind about Google China's operation or doesn't telling the truth, Eric misled the audience that Google can do nothing in China but compromise.  However, the truth is Google China made more self-censorship rather than just complying the local laws. Google China management wanted to satisfy authority to exchange some space for surviving. But they are wrong as Godaddy, the government won't buy in because there's never contract or agreement to protect them.  The hidden rules in China will change all the time. Just like Godaddy's case, any cases can become your nightmare whether it's an event, a people's name, or a domain name. And the worst thing you can never recover is that you lost the support from users.  There's only one government one business can please today or tomorrow, but there are millions of users one can't be fooled.

Last year, in my open letter to Google Founders, "The more compromise, the worse".  I explained in some other occasions why Google lost market share time by time even they self-censor themselves a lot in this country.  The China team not only did a very bad job losing all frontiers to their competitors in this fastest and biggest Internet soil, but also lost trust and loyalty from their existing users.  With the same effort and resource to make self-censorship(they put more and more people on filtering system), they can fight back with their guns(technology, laws, user supports, etc.). They didn't complete any missions without accountability.

Once in a private talk with one senior officials of Google China, he was surprised when I told him the story China netizen helped Google back in 2002 when it's blocked in China the first time. Since they've forgotten it (are they googlers?), they won't care users too much today.  However, Big Brother can never be satisfied, even one single day.  Godaddy.com proved this thumb rule. Godaddy.com was blocked in China. Surely it's so bad to their business benefit from Chinese users. But some Chinese users said, "It deserved! No tears".




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