As part of its latest corporate restructure, Google is now a subsidiary of its new parent company called Alphabet, which will house the search giant as well as its other businesses. While the move delighted the Wall Street this week, it could not trigger a change of heart for one of the company’s longtime critic, China, which blocked the new website on the first day of its launch.
The holding company Alphabet, which was unveiled Tuesday, will own Google and various independent companies, including research arm X Lab and investment unit Google Ventures. The website for Alphabet, www.abc.xyz, currently contains only a letter from co-founder Larry Page and a link to the company’s investor relations page. Although that may not sound fishy, China blocked access to the website within 12 hours of it going live.
According to GreatFire.org, which monitors Internet censorship in the Asian country, the Alphabet website is “100% blocked.” While users in the country trying to visit abc.xyz were greeted with an error page, it was not clear whether the blockade was a deliberate move by Chinese authorities, or if the website was taken offline because it pointed to already forbidden Google servers, South China Morning Post reported.
In an effort to eliminate any signs of dissent to the ruling Communist Party's leadership, the Chinese government has always tried to maintain a tight control over the Internet. All Google services, including Gmail, Calendar, Maps and the Google Play app store, have been blocked by China’s Great Firewall Internet filtering system since the beginning of this year, while the search engine and YouTube have been blocked in the country for many years.
Sundar Pichai, who was named the new Google CEO earlier this week, said in March that the company was willing to “serve Chinese users,” but did not reportedly provide a timeline for Google to re-enter China.