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Taiwan Irked at Google's Version of Earth

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the point-of-view dept.

Google 571

frank_adrian314159 writes "As reported in The Register, Taiwan wants Google Earth to stop calling it a province of China. Although Google has yet to comment on this issue, it will be interesting to see the brightest minds that money can buy trying to solve what decades of diplomats have unsuccessfully wrestled with - how to balance the nationalistic pride of the inhabitants of Taiwan against the nationalistic pride of the inhabitants of mainland China." From the article: "Foreign ministry spokesman, Michel Lu, explained: 'It is incorrect to call Taiwan a province of China because we are not. We have contacted Google to express our position and asked them to correct the description.' Google has maintained a stony silence on the matter, presumably while it tries to work out a solution which will please both the Taiwanese and the hosts of the (lucrative, burgeoning, inviting) Chinese internet search business opportunity market."

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Simple solution (5, Funny)

nokilli (759129) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714660)

Instead of choosing between pissing off the Chinese or pissing off the Taiwanese you piss both the Chinese and Taiwanese off at the same time. So instead of saying it is or isn't a province of China, you just call it West Hawaii.

Problem solved.
You didn't know. []

Re:Simple solution (4, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714762)

"Taiwan, province of China" -- obvious bullshit, but it's required if you want to conduct business in the very biggest country of the world, one that happens to have one of most evil governments.
"Chinese Taipei" -- obvious bullshit, Taipei is the capital of the country, not the country itself.
"Republic of China" -- obvious bullshit, they were the Republic of China before the communist rebellion, but they can't claim to be the whole of China anymore.
"Taiwan" -- the geographic name. Perfectly neutral.

So... we nearly say "Germany" instead of "Federal Republic of Germany", its real name. We use "Poland" instead of "Republic of Poland". We say "China" instead of "People's Republic of China". So, why won't we just call Taiwan... "Taiwan"?

Re:Simple solution (3, Interesting)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714932)

Because it will upset the Chinese. Taiwan is an island. Alcatraz is the United States, it is not Alcatraz the island. Hawaii, on a map, is usually listed as "Hawaii (US)". The Chinese mainland government has been an imperialist government for quite some time. They have fought wars with South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Nepal, and Tibet. They financed the war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. They openly supplied and comforted the Khmer Rouge. The Korean War, which as any tourist to China can tell you is still proudly remembered, was fought against the entire United Nations: including United Kingdom, Australia, Turkey, Canada, New Zealand, the Philippines, Luxembourg, South Africa, and the Netherlands. With the exception of North Korea, Mongolia, and Pakistan, China has pretty much fought with everyone they can easily reach. China has been in the past 50 years an ultra aggressive power.

Google's mission statement is Do No Evil. The inclusion of Taiwan with an aggressive power such as China is not exactly good. They should acknowledge the defacto freedoms the Taiwanese currently possess.

Re:Simple solution (3, Insightful)

stienman (51024) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714977)

"Taiwan" -- the geographic name. Perfectly neutral.

When you have the political boundary layer on, it should show the political names, not the geographic names.

If there is a dispute of some sort (tiawan, tibet, etc) then the program should be clear that they use a specific set of political names (ie, "As recognized by the UN") and stay out of political rumbling. Tiawan is simply trying to bring this issue up in the "court of world opinion" again, and Google is a convenient talking point.


Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714770)

...pardon me while I wipe the coffee-laced spittle from off my keyboard.

No no no. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714793)

Better names:

Godzirra House
Turd Island
All crap products made here

Re:No no no. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714904)

I know it's a troll....But I feel oblige to reply.

This is just the type of mentality that is so prevalent in North America. Not all americans are closed-minded, ignorant racists, but a great many are. These comments and attitudes just smears the rest of the population in the eye of the international community. Better results can be obtained by these people if they went out to look for a job, or doing something constructive. But, then again, what useful things can they do?

Re:Simple solution (1)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714892)

Will we be having this conversation some day about Japan, a province of China, or Korea, a province of China, etc... We should keep politics out of technology. Taiwan is Taiwan, argue about who owns the slaves somewhere else.

Re:Simple solution (-1, Troll)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714896)

"Instead of choosing between pissing off the Chinese or pissing off the Taiwanese you piss both the Chinese and Taiwanese off at the same time. So instead of saying it is or isn't a province of China, you just call it West Hawaii."

Or still the property of Japan.

Re:Simple solution (2, Funny)

jafac (1449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714923)

Considering how much US Govt. debt is currently financed by China, maybe it'd be more appropriate to call Hawaii East China. . .

(btw, thank you George W Bush, *true* Conservative!)

Google, DON'T BE EVIL!! (1)

gr0kCalvin (750832) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714968)


Simple.. (1)

pureseth (917220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714667)

It can't be that hard for google to fix that problem, so what's with the "stony silence"?

Re:Simple.. (1)

wangmaster (760932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714715)

i take it you don't know the politics behind this? You call it a province of china, and china is happy, but taiwan isn't. you even imply taiwan is a standalone country and taiwan might be happy, but china won't be. So yeah, this is an easy technical problem to fix, but good luck doing it without pissing someone off.

Re:Simple.. (4, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714843)

I'd say there's an empirical way of testing this. Do the Taiwanese pay taxes to the mainland government, are mainland government laws enforced in Taiwan? No, in both cases. Has Taiwan managed to maintain this state of affairs for a reasonable period of time? Yes. Then Taiwan has earnt its right not to be called a province.

Doesn't stop Google annoying the mainland government by calling it such, but you shouldn't let economics get in the way of the truth.

Re:Simple.. (1)

engwar (521117) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714967)

you shouldn't let economics get in the way of the truth.

ha ha ha. That's a good one.

Re:Simple.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714721)

Err, what? You realise that the problem isn't the technical problem of changing the name of a geographical region, but rather the diplomacy involved? I.e. that China will be mightily pissed off if Taiwan is not referred to as a province of China? That problem is hardly "simple."

Re:Simple.. (1, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714879)

They're trying to reconcile making the mad cash from catering to the soon-to-be-richest country in the world and compromising their company motto.

Imma write them a nasty letter. A girl I know is from Taiwan (mmm... hot Taiwanese girl...) and imma send them all the Taiwanese facts about their independence. I suggest you all find hot Taiwanese girls and do the same.

Google! Don't be evil!

Customisable naming? (0)

Derek Pomery (2028) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714670)

How about making it user customisable with defaults based on their geographical location?
Heck, many times Google Earth screws up naming, and it'd be nice to have names using i18n.

Re:Customisable naming? (2, Interesting)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714724)

How about making it user customisable with defaults based on their geographical location?

Far as that goes, why couldn't they change the label based on the IP space of the place calling up the page? Known Taiwanese subnet? There ya go, it's called one thing. Known Chinese subnet? Here you go, it's called what you want to call it. Give 'em an option to change from that default behavoir. Think of it as live, real-time, address-based translation of the name.

Hell - they're Google. Let 'em invent a standard header to deal with it, so apache can serve up the right version just like it does the languages preferences stuff. It's not like the browser authors (well, most of 'em) wouldn't support something like that.

Re:Customisable naming? (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714811)

Also, I may be very upset if they don't label the state of Illinois as the "Republic of Interiot" whenever Google Maps is viewed from my specific IP.

I mean, the insanity has to stop somewhere.

Re:Customisable naming? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714848)

If this was mapquest or yahoo maps or something, sure. But this is Google we're talking about! Not only should they be able to find a solution with a short script, but they should be able to mediate political talks to fix all territory disputes all over the world. Google for President.

Re:Customisable naming? (1)

Derek Pomery (2028) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714930)

Actually, when I said geographical location I was thinking precisely of IP localisation. :)
Guess I should stay away from though, already getting negative moderation.

Re:Customisable naming? (1)

CptPicard (680154) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714949)

The user should be allowed to choose between naming systems and languages based on preference. Take names in Finland for example... the naming is simply inconsistent, there is sometimes no apparent logic to it. The Gulf of Finland is named in Estonian, and a lot of Finnish locations seem to have their name pretty much randomly chosen between their Finnish and Swedish equivalents (both of which are valid, but there should be a system to this... like based on the language majority of the place)

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714672)


1st post (-1, Offtopic)

wqurg (263967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714676)

1st post. They are a provence.

Butter (3, Insightful)

kryzx (178628) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714677)

Maybe they already figured out which side their bread was buttered on. After all, they are pretty sharp. They don't have to solve anything. They made the smart move in trying to get cozy with the next economic superpower. Now they can just ignore the complaining until it goes away.

Re:Butter (3, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714842)

Of course, in doing that, they probably ought to think about revising their 'do no evil' motto, to something along the lines of 'do evil whenever it is economically convenient'.

Re:Butter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714939)

Or they could just show the whole region as a big smoldering crater with a mushroom cloud over it.. Just as a warning.

Ill solve this quickly (2, Insightful)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714678)

Question: Who does Google stand to make more money off of?

Google already knows the answer to this and that is why "Taiwan" is listed as such.

End of story. (For Taiwan at least)


But... (1)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714918)

Will that mean an end to our little plastic toys/trinkets?

Why not call it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714679)

Why not just call it "Taiwan"?

Re:Why not call it (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714888)

Perahps because that does not appeal to the Chinese politically. And the next 20 to 50 years will witness the rise of the Chinese economic market. A market that is more than likely going to be far more massive than that of the US and Europe combined.

They've already solved the problem (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714691)

They've chosen to call Taiwan a province of China. Because the most lucrative market that likely to crop up in the next 20 years says Taiwan is a province of China.

It's a political debate, right up until you consider that one side of the debate represents much more money than the other. Then it's a simple matter of economics.

Re:They've already solved the problem (1)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714945)

"It's a political debate, right up until you consider that one side of the debate represents much more money than the other. Then it's a simple matter of economics."

A simple matter of a rogue CIA group equipping the Taiwainese with some nukes would also solve the diplomatic standoff as well, and allow the U.S. to decouple itself from the thorny situation and without the guilt associated with giving China a free-hand with Taiwain in exchange for the freedom to nuke Kim Jong Il's regime.

PROC and ROC (3, Interesting)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714693)

It is pretty much well established in the west to refer to to China (the big one) as the People's Republic of China and Taiwan as the Republic of China. This may be offensive to China or Taiwan, I can not attest to that, but it does seem to be the norm.

Re:PROC and ROC (1)

jiawen (693693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714858)

I'd say it's well-established for the US to refer to them in intentionally ambiguous ways, rather than with specific terms. The US deliberately (and, in my mind, quite rightly) avoids clarity on the issue. "Taiwan, ROC" or "Taiwan" or "the ROC" or whatever will make the situation less clear.

This is unfortunate -- it'd be nice if it was possible to be specific and clear -- but specificity and clarity only create diplomatic incidents and lead to saber-rattling in this case.

As for other Western countries -- I can't say.

Re:PROC and ROC (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714956)

You forgot one step: When talking to either side you don't bring up the validity of either side's claim. This means when talking to the People's Republic of China (for instance) you don't list provinces (officially), so the povince of Taiwan isn't conspicous by being or not being on the list.

Google is in a bad position: They have a nuetral product, easily accessable, which shows political divisions. Taiwan shows up on the product, so it needs to be inside or outside a boundry. A diplomat's words can leave it's status undefined, a map cannot.

Most accurate would probably be to mark the area claimed by the Republic of China as 'Under dispute', but neither side would like that...

Naaa na na na a na na na na na na na na na.... (4, Funny)

Fiver- (169605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714704)

How does "We Love Katamari" refer to Taiwan in the global level? I assume the King of All Cosmos is the ultimate authority.

Re:Naaa na na na a na na na na na na na na na.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714971)

Shouldn't the subject of your post be "Na naaa, na na na na na na naaaa, na na na, na na naaaa....." instead of "Naaa na na na a na na na na na na na na na...."?

Re:Naaa na na na a na na na na na na na na na.... (3, Funny)

shigelojoe (590080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714982)


Predicted (1)

FlameTroll (901932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714705)

I hate to say it but this type of thing was predicted in Dianetics. It will start as samll tussles, but eventually the Taiwan issue will be decided by force.

Re:Predicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714748)

Ooh, your book predicted a fight, and look, people are fighting! A VICTORY FOR HARD SCIENCE!

Re:Predicted (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714989)

It may not be hard science, and I don't pretend to understand it, but its happening. Heck he even predicted that the tenth planet discovered would be named Xenu.

Dianetics is a CULT (1)

engwar (521117) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714997)

Do some Googling on it.

I feel so sorry by people who were sucked into a pseudo-religion started by a Sci-Fi writer on a bar bet just to make money.

google aren't the only one (-1, Flamebait)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714712)

If Taiwan is so independent why doesn;t it have a seat on the UN ?

Only 26 countires recognize Taiwan as a country in its own right.

I've head quite a few boxes on them that say Taiwan, ROC on them so I guess not even everyone there shares the same opinion.

as for me, what the hell do I know about it !

Gotta pick your fights... (2, Insightful)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714768)

Taiwan might be able to get Google to change... they sure as hell aren't going to get global recognition...

Sadly, Taiwan is doomed unless the US wants to provoke a third world war... which I hope to God they don't.

Google is "calling it in the air" as they say.

Re:google aren't the only one (5, Insightful)

jiawen (693693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714784)

Why doesn't Taiwan have a seat in the UN? Because China, the US and the other countries won't let it.

If the school bully says you have to say "uncle", that doesn't mean he's suddenly your real uncle...

Re:google aren't the only one (4, Informative)

kbs (70631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714850)

It's a pity that the moderators can't recognize flamebait when they see it.

It really depends on how you define "independence."

If by "independent" you mean the existence of a sovereign government, an army, and a legal structure, then by all means Taiwan is independent. If by "independent" you mean recognized by everyone else, then they're not.

As an example, if you try to go to Taiwan, ROC with a PROC visa, you'll be laughed at. The leaders in Taiwan are democratically elected, they have their own army, currency, health care system, business regulations, the whole works. As far as I'm concerned, that's pretty darn independent.

If you're looking at the view of whether they *should* be independent, that's where a lot of the debate comes in. In PROC the view is that historically Taiwan was part of the PROC, so it should be reunited with the motherland. This particular belief is pretty strong on the mainland due to nationalistic pride and control of the newspapers. In Taiwan, people just want the right to elect their own leaders democratically; regardless of where they stand on the reunification issue, they don't want to turn into another Hong Kong, and that is the public relations problem that PROC is faced with. They want to maintain an authoritarian government over a population that is used to publicly berating its own leaders.

Re:google aren't the only one (1)

The Lynxpro (657990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714996)

"If Taiwan is so independent why doesn;t it have a seat on the UN ?"

Why isn't the US part of the World Criminal Court?

Why isn't Norway and Iceland members of the European Union?

Why hasn't Atlantis melted all of Antartica's ice that its buried under?

And most importantly...

Why hasn't an American cable channel picked up (new) Doctor Who yet?

It is sad (2, Insightful)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714714)

that our country decided to hang the Taiwanese out to dry by engaging with China. Taiwan should be our real aly and we shouldn't be trading with China at all. If we had pursued that policy, I think that the PRC goverment would have fallen when the rest of the communist block fell and China would be free by now.

Thanks, Nixon (for nothing).

Re:It is sad (2, Interesting)

Nimey (114278) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714761)

Kind of how it worked for Cuba, huh?

Re:It is sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714789)

Listening to Mainland China talk about Taiwan is creepy.

How can you, at the same time: claim that you are "one people", have virtually to completely seperate systems, and endlessly war-talk and point missles at the other?

Mainland China could do our children's generation an amazingly kind act by allowing Taiwan to call itself what it already is now, avoiding world war in twenty years.

Not "Province: , "Republic" (2, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714719)

a province of China
It's not a province, it's a Republic of China. That's why the labels on manufactured goods say "Made in Taiwan ROC".

Ditto Tibet (4, Interesting)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714722)

It's interesting to note that Tibet also does not show up as an independent country in Google Earth. Apparently Google doesn't consider supporting an evil communist regime to be "evil".

Re:Ditto Tibet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714817)

I'll give you "evil", but communist?

Re:Ditto Tibet (4, Insightful)

amerinese (685318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714829)

but Tibet doesn't actually exercise de facto indepedence, i.e. where is there elected or legitimate government and their army/police? it's not that the PRC can roll into Tibet any time--it's that they're already there and the ones really in charge. as to the PRC's legitimacy--that's a separate question entirely.

Taiwan is both a democratic country and it maintains de facto rule--it has its own military that prevents China from walking over, and it maintains order within the island as well. As to its constitutional legitimacy... that is a separate question (if you're talking about from a historical perspective... but of course from a self-determination perspective they are legitimately independent).

Re:Ditto Tibet (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714886)

Surely it can't be evil to support an evil oppressive regime if it makes you a lot of money? I believe IBM did pretty well by the holocaust, and no one called that evil, right?

The soloution is clear? (1)

Lucractius (649116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714723)

Surely be google are capable of quick soloutions, but perhaps the slow "reply" is more tied up in politics than it seems, cant be easy to debate between these foreign powers as another country, let alone as a company that could be severly burned by the loss of favour by one of them

Solution (2, Interesting)

JazMuadDib (600258) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714726)

a "/" I.e. Taiwan (ROC/Province of PRC)

Or call it just plain ol' Taiwan.

Or hey, even better, give it a name based on originating IP.

How Crass, How Gauche... (1)

Farrside (78711) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714732)

How very Provincial!

EBay it! (5, Funny)

IceSabre (602857) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714734)

Highest bidder wins the ownership of Taiwan on google map!

Re:EBay it! (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714899)

Mod parent up! If mainland China really is a "bigger market", they should put up or shut up. It's kind of a bad precedent though... I mean... does Redmond really want to be Microsoftville? Does Atlanta want to be Coketown? Maybe they could just restrict it to teritories that are under dispute by organized armies.

Claim is it someone else's issue (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714736)

Google could always say they are using the ISO country names (and I think they are) and they will be happy to change it when ISO updates the name in their data.

Google Kowtows to China (2, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714745)

("Kowtows to China" -- sometimes I crack myself up...)

So much for the "do no evil" schtick, huh?

Hey, once upon a time Gates was the clever, driven College drop-out sticking it to the Man, too, right? Eventually, they all embrace their inner Gekko.

Mebbe one of their two billionaire founders will sleep with his sister by mistake and the whole modern Greek Tragedy can be complete.


what's for lunch... haven't eaten lunch... starving...

Re:Google Kowtows to China (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714776)

You beat me to it, brother.

This just shows once again that ANY corporation is a sociopath.

It's all about the money- never give your loyalty to a corporation- they have no conscience- they have no guilt.

Oh Google... (5, Funny)

matr0x_x (919985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714751)

Does it really take the brightest minds to fix this problem?

if (IP == Taiwan){
  Label as independent
else {
  Label as province of China

Re:Oh Google... (2, Funny)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714897)

if ip == 'US':
      for c in countries:
              if ip not 'redstate':
                    label('USA Free Market')
                    don't show country

While Google's at it... (2, Insightful)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714757)

...can they sort out the whole India / Pakistan / Kashmir thing too? That'd be great. Thanks.

Coming soon from Google (1)

Adelbert (873575) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714995)

Coming soon from Google: Google International Diplomacy!

Are you tired of endless, bureaucratic discussions with international diplomats? Well worry no more! Google will sort out all your petty squabbles for you, with no interference and just a few text based ads appended to your country's constitution.

Google International Diplomacy integrates fully with existing Google packages. Connect that red "President Phone" to Google Talk! Search for the name of a country's Prime Minister with Google Google!

Works everywhere else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714758)

Paul Kennedy said we should just send in the 7th fleet. That should solve it.

text only, not embedded into the image (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714778)

Just search for taiwan: []

The text next to the map says "Taiwan, Province of China" ... the maps themselves don't actually imply it is part of China (as far as I could notice). This means it is a very easy change for Google to implement, no edit of the maps or code needed. They just need to decide what to do politically.

A note, Taiwan is not asking for "Taiwan, Province of China" to become "Taiwan, an independant nation" ... perhaps all provinces of all nations should conveniently lose such descriptors? How could that anger The PRC?

The brightest minds (1)

SillyPerson (920121) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714786)

I am much more interested in the suggestions of the brightest minds that money can't buy (i.e the solutions of the slashdot crowd). It will probably be brilliant thoughts along the lines of

In Sowjet Russia, all your Taiwan are belong to us

or something.

Been there in Canada... easy solution? (1)

C. (20089) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714787)

Labrador [] (up North in Canada) has been disputed territory for years. Maps were showing it as "disputed territory".

Then again, Canadians are not very likely to go up in arms if they are reminded of it when seeing a map.

What is it then? (1)

Conception (212279) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714792)

Unless Taiwan comes out and decalres its sovereignty, no one really needs to consider it as anything else. I mean, it'll mean war, but at least they get themselves on Google Earth right. But honestly, sack up or shut up.

Who else thinks... (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714796)

Who else thinks that Google didn't actually make these kinds of decisions? There's probably some body or convention that they're following--I just don't know which one.

Earth to Google! (1)

coopaq (601975) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714797)

Stop staring at all the money you want to make in China and look at reality.

Whether or not Taiwan will become part of China in the future it is certainly not the case now.


Google and Yahoo are becoming buttkissing money mongers for China business ties.

Anyway... No offense to Taiwan or China.

How can you guys buy things made in china (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714799)

When they do stuff like this: []

I say google will... (4, Interesting)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714805)

Bow to the communist china's wishes, just like msn did with the "democracy" ban. The real question is will you anti-ms people be just as outraged as you were with MS?

Why are they bugging Google about this? (4, Insightful)

squirrelist (412181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714810)

Most countries, including America, do not see Taiwan as independent. Because of this, the UN does not either. If this is good enough for the UN, this should be good enough for Google (an American company).

Google's Master Plan... (2, Funny)

m93 (684512) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714814)

Phase 1: Help China harden it's information rights policy by catering to it's search restrictions, then, give them political leverage by legitimizing the Chinese claim to Taiwan (and collect underpants). Phase 2: Wait on them to acheive true superpower status. Phase 3: Profit!

Google does business in China (1)

stienman (51024) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714815)

Google does business in China. China exerts extraordinary control over any company "priviledged" to operate inside china.

Therefore, Google Earth will reflect China's beliefs.


Re:Google does business in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714988)

Really? I had no idea! Can I sign up for your blog or something?

Google is probably adhering to ISO 3166 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714819)

Google is probably adhering to ISO 3166 as found here: /10faq/frequently-asked-questions.html#QS03 []

03: Why is Taiwan named Taiwan Province of China in ISO 3166-1?
A: The names in ISO 3166-1 - and thus on our Webpage - are taken from United Nations sources. These sources are authoritative inputs to the international country code standard. They are:

* The United Nations Bulletin Country Names and the
* Country and Region Codes for Statistical Use of the United Nations Statistics Division

Since Taiwan is not a UN member it does not figure in the UN bulletin on country names. The printed edition of the publication Country and region codes for statistical use gives the name we use in ISO 3166-1. By adhering to UN sources the ISO 3166/MA stays politically neutral.

Re:Google is probably adhering to ISO 3166 (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714914)

Oh yeah, I forgot, the UN is politically neutral in everything it does (silly me!)

Re:Google is probably adhering to ISO 3166 (1)

thelost (808451) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714958)

mod parent up! especially as it's really boring having to listen to all the whiners who are just dying to take a dig at google.

Easy to fix (1)

aphaenogaster (884935) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714823)

Just call it Formosa. done.

Whose schvantz is tastier? (1, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714834)

That's the one Google will suck.

Kinda hard to "do no evil" when different people have different definitions.

Google needs to grow a pair and stand up on this issue rather than silently ignoring it and hoping it will go away.

Google forgot to add a disclamer? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714837)

"Google Earth portrays an imaginary planet. Any ressemblance with real Earth is purely coincidential. Google Earth is for entertainment only. Do not use Google Earth to learn about political divisions. If dissatisfied with Google Earth, you may reuse Google Earth as a flotation device."

quick and dirty (tm) (1)

nazsco (695026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714841)

bet they will go the easiest/simplest route and make a version for "viewed inside tawain" and a version "rest of the world"

google section? (1)

jshaped (899227) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714857)

I'm sure this will be moddded offtopic, but...

Why isn't there a Google section on the navigation bar on the left?
If there's an infrequently updated Apache section,
surely Google deserves one as well.
It seems like 50% off all stories lately are Google related.

another test of their corporate philosophy... (2, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714869)

A good test for that ever-famous item 6 on the ten things [] (part of the official corporate philosophy).

6. You can make money without doing evil.

Do they follow Yahoo's lead, [] and cater to the very oppressive Chinese gov? Or do they support a democracy that has been around just as long as China really, having been created in more or less the same instance. China, after all, has no less claim to being the authority over Taiwan than Taiwan has to being the authority over China.

How about it Google...gona "do no evil" here?

Taiwan foreignministry when noone recognizes them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714871)

>Foreign ministry spokesman, Michel Lu, explained:
>'It is incorrect to call Taiwan a province of China because we are not.

Totally ridiculous. Considering that only four banana republics have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, they don't need a foreign ministry at all. Every other country recognizes the One China as the Red China. Taiwan is not even in the UN. They are the dwarf who pretends to be the giant, but their heydays are long gone.

When mainland chinese missiles start to fall on them they will cry for US mommy. If the taiwanese had any grey matter left in their heads they would reunite now, with the offered one country, two systems principle to preserve current internal politics and economy as is. Red China is backed by Russian military tech and soon will be able to take out unwilling taiwanese leadership with precision strikes. Then the decapitated island will then be taken by force and lose any chance to prevent forced assimilation.

Taiwanese think they can replicate Turkey's luck with the Crimean War in 1855, but they are fatally flawed. The opponent is much stronger now and the established powers can do little to counter it, because their own economic survival depends on mainland China. Nowadays nothing is being manufactured in USA, the only revenue is from services sector but hairdressers and executives are ain't worth sh*t in case of war.

Didn't Microsoft run into this problem? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714872)

I seem to recall some Microsoft program, perhaps Encarta or Office, that did something to piss off the Chinese government. Something to do with flags, I think? Microsoft issued a patch rather quickly. Does anyone remember this?

EASY solution (5, Funny)

FrontalLobe (897758) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714884)

All Google needs to say is it will be fixed in the final release, once its out of beta... Problem solved indefinately

Article in Time (5, Informative)

FreshFunk510 (526493) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714889)

I read an article in Time about one of the top people in Google (was there back in '99) and it said that whenever she came across an issue similar to this she usually just referenced the CIA world fact book and went with whatever they had to avoid these kind of issues.

Managing Google's Idea Factory /b3953093.htm []

"Google shouldn't be the arbiter on languages. Just include anything considered legitimate by a third-party source, such as the CIA World Fact Book, she says. "We don't want to make a large geopolitical statement by accident."

history (2, Informative)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714908)

Taiwan *IS* a province of China, actually. But the exact situation is complicated.

You folks may remember when the Taiwanese legislature was planning to declare independence, and mainland threats made them back down? Well, if there weren't any ties to the mainland, why would they need to declare independence at all?

The reason is that, when Mao Tse-Tung's army took over the Chinese mainland and China's original rulers relocated to Taiwan, the old government maintained a claim to being the government of the mainland. In their eyes they were a province of China as a whole, despite the rest of the country being controlled by interlopers.

Now, over time, they realized the Communist regime, while it's gotten a bit more flexible, wasn't going away. Their own government changed in the meantime, too. And while they've gotten to the point where they no longer consider themselves to be the same country as the mainland, by having laid claim to being the only legitimate part of the original government they're still tied together.

just google for it! (1)

nazsco (695026) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714919)

search for "taiwan" in google.

i was feeling lucky and ended up in CIA factbook. And taiwan is listed as a country there.

Proper naming is important? (1)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714981)

So Los Angeles should be Googled as:
El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula


If...else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13714986)

if address=".cn"
          islandname="Province of China"

How to really piss off Beijing. (2, Funny)

McGregorMortis (536146) | more than 8 years ago | (#13714990)

Call mainland China a province of Taiwan. It's not entirely without basis. he government in Taiwan is the older one, once was the government of all China. The mainland just happens to be under the control of communist rebels at the moment.
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