China blocks Google’s ‘Al­pha­bet’ web­site on first day of com­pany over­haul

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

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