Google launches on-line answer service in China

Via Read/WriteWeb:

google chinaGoogle China has released a Q&A site, in partnership with Tianya Club. The Make Meaning blog notes that Tianya Club was founded in 1999 and is one of the most popular discussion forums in China. Tianya has almost 20 million registered users, 80% of whom are 18-35 years old.

Some questions that will not be answered:

  1. Penguins Employee of the monthWhat happened at Tiananmen Square?
  2. What happened to “You can make money without doing evil”?
  3. Does this mean you’re rethinking your rethinking of playing footsie with the Chinese government?

Nice additional detail on this at Google Blogoscoped:

In other, related news Tianya.cn was recently involved in an attempt by the Chinese government to suppress the reporting on a bridge collapse in Fenghuang a week ago. Quote the Associated Press last Friday:

Communist authorities have banned most state media from reporting on the deadly collapse of a bridge in southern China, with local officials punching and chasing reporters from the scene, reporters said Friday.

The harassment and the accompanying news ban was issued by the Chinese Central Propaganda Department on Thursday, the AP writes. The AP cites a reporter saying that an unidentified mob of locals “roughed up” a group of five reporters who were interviewing the families of those who were killed in the bridge collapse.

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