China blocks Google’s ‘Alphabet’ website on first day of company overhaul
Tech geeks in China looking to understand Google’s newly unveiled corporate structure are out of luck: the website of the new parent company, dubbed Alphabet, was blocked less than 24 hours after going live.
Google unveiled a surprise cor- porate overhaul Tuesday forming Alphabet, a holding company that will include Internet search and a handful of independent companies, such as the research arm X Lab, investment unit Google Ventures and health and science operations. So far the website only contains letter from Google co-founder
a Larry Page and a link to Google’s existing investor relations page.
But the website for Alphabet, www.abc.xyz, is already blocked in China, which operates the world’s most extensive and sophisticated Internet censorship system, known as the “Great Firewall.”
Despite the block, the announce- ment of Google’s restructuring was widely reported in Chinese official media, including the People’s Daily, the official Communist Party mouthpiece.
The Paper, a government-run news website, even named the parent companies’ new website address in its report, saying the unorthodox mix of letters “broke with convention.”
The California-based tech firm withdrew from China in 2010 over censorship issues, and the two have continued to have a turbulent relationship, with Beijing moving last year to fully block Google’s hugely popular Gmail service.