First let me start with this won't be my typical "how-to-like" article which I typically write on my website. I haven't posted many of those over the past month mostly because I was in the process of moving but I'm settled in again.
I've been following the Google vs. China fiasco online, mostly through my RSS feeds, and I've begun to ponder on what a Google-less China would be like. China has 1.3 billion people, or 20% of the earth's population, and is poised to overtake the US as the #1 country in internet users. While China flat-out blocking Google.cn is a big deal (and I suspect this would include all of Google search such as Google.com), what if China blocked all of Google's online services?
What Makes Google?
Let's say China decides to block everything that is Google i.e. all of Google's online services. Think of all the services you use that are hosted on Google's servers? Here's a list of just a few things I can think of that would be troublesome to web developers:
- YouTube videos & specifically all those embedded videos around the internet.
- Chinese users would no longer be tracked in Google Analytics.
- You website would lose all the Chinese traffic Google was sending to it via Google search.
- Feedburner would no longer work in China. You would lose any Chinese RSS feed subscribers.
- Embedded Google Maps would stop working.
- What about all the Gmail users in China?
- Using the Google Site Search feature on your website? Not in China you aren't.
I don't have specific cases for these products but I'm curious as to how a 100% Google blockade would affect these Google services since they can be embedded in external websites:
- Google Checkout
- Picasa Embedded Galleries
- Google Translate Widget
I did a quick search and if China decided to block Google and its services this won't be the first time so perhaps this would only be temporary. Another argument might be that Google isn't a big player in China like their native Baidu search engine. Statistics would help this argument, but even if Google Search isn't a big player in China, I have a feeling many of their ancillary services are even if only behind the scenes.
If China decides to go through with this, I'm predicting that a schism will occur in the internet. There will be the People's Internet of China and the rest of the world's. If China gets away with this, it will be a lot easier to for them to block other, smaller, websites.
One takeaway I got from this brainstorming exercise was how reliant many of our websites are on third party providers. Its difficult to build a website nowadays without linking to a resource from another site. Will that site/service be there 5-10 years from now? What happens when it's discontinued? Maybe its web developer job security and I should stop complaining?
What do you think about it? Speak your mind below -