Yesterday, Google announced a massive restructuring and the creation of a new parent company, Alphabet. While Google will still focus on the traditional internet-related products like Chrome, Android and web search, other company’s will be set up to focus on more exploratory ventures. Along with the announcement yesterday, Alphabet launch its new domain: abc.xyz. Unsurprising to anyone, this new domain is already 100% blocked in China.
The news comes via GreatFire, a site which actively and constantly monitors URLs blocked within China’s borders. Alphabet’s home page has been blocked since it went live yesterday. Although it could be easy to see this as a pre-emptive, and active blocking against Google from China, it’s more likely that the country already blocks any site bearing Google’s SSL certificate. If that’s the case, then it doesn’t matter what site Google launches, it’s blocked before it even goes live in China.
Google and China’s relationship is an interesting one to say the least. Which is to say: They don’t really have one. Google’s products and services are blocked almost completely. Android phones in the mainland don’t have access to Google’s Play Store to download apps, and Play Services are a complete no go. It’s one of the reasons it’s been rumored the company could be partnering with Huawei to launch the next Nexus smartphone. Google apparently hopes it can use Huawei’s Chinese influence to build its own presence and launch services in China.