Google has now offically announced that it has launched a new Chinese version of Google ( and that, in doing so, it has "agreed to remove certain sensitive information from our search results." You can read for yourself, in Andrew McLaughlin's posting, Google's justification for doing so (and for thereby joining Microsoft, and Yahoo!, in a kind of Hall of Complicity with China's restrictive information policies). Personally, I'm disappointed -- though reasonable people can certainly disagree about the step that Google has taken and on whether it increases, or decreases, the long-run likelihood that information will circulate more freely in China, I had hoped that at least one of the American companies clamoring for the Chinese market would have drawn a line in the sand, on principle, and proclaimed loudly and clearly that they would not cross it, and Google always seemed to be the most likely candidate for that. A net loss (pun intended), I think, for free expression.