China immediately blocked the website of Alphabet, the newly established parent company of Google, according to GreatFire, an organization that actively monitors the online censorship activities of the Chinese government.
The Alphabet website (www.abc.xyz) only contains the letter of Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page regarding the new operating structure of the search engine giant.
China operates the Great Firewall, which is considered the most extensive and sophisticated censorship system around the world. Its immediate blocking of the Alphabet website in less than 24 hours after going live shows China’s aggressive opposition against Google. It also appears that the Chinese government already placed a system that automatically blocks any site containing Google’s SSL certificate.
China’s official media reported Google announcement about restructuring
Some reports indicated that the Chinese media including the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of China’s Communist Party, reported Google’s reorganization. The People’s Daily reportedly stated that Alphabet “broke with convention” because its web address is an unorthodox mix of letters.
However, it is interesting to note, that China’s official news websites such as Xinhua does not contain any news about Google. In fact, if you would type Google or Alphabet on Xinhua’s search box, you would get an internal server error as a result. Obviously, China does not want to share any information about Google to its citizen.
The relationship between China and Google soured in 2010 when the search engine giant decided to abandon its business operations in the country because of censorship issues. Since then, China has been aggressively blocking Google’s services. Last year, the Chinese government fully blocked Gmail.
In a regulatory filing, Google revealed that Alphabet is a new public holding company. It will be composed of Google and other businesses including Calico, Fiber, Nest, incubator projects such as Google X, and investing arms, Google Ventures, and Google Capital.
Google said it would implement the holding company reorganization later this year. Google shares will automatically convert to the equivalent Alphabet shares, which will continue trading on NASDAQ under the same symbols GOOGL and GOOG.
Following the completion of the reorganization, Larry Page will become CEO, Sergey Brin will become President, and Eric Schmidt will become Chairman of Alphabet. Sundar Pichai will become the new CEO of Google.
According to Mr. Page, Alphabet means a collection of letters that represent language, the most important innovation of humanity. It also represents the core of how they index Google search.
He added, alpha-bet (Alpha is investment return above average) is what they are striving to achieve.