Siva Vaidhyanathan notes that "Google says 'we stopped censoring' Google.cn and many are buying it. In reality, Google shut down Google.cn." Danny Sullivan expands on this critical line of thinking in a Search Engine Land post:
Beginning today, Google is no longer censoring results on its Chinese search engine, the company has announced. But rather than the expected "pullout" from China, Google hopes to continue operating within the country. It all comes down to whether the Chinese government decides operating off a Hong Kong domain — rather than the main Chinese domain — lets Google get around its censorship rules.
(…)Specifically, Google said that it is no longer censoring on its search services — Google Search, Google News China & Google Images — that were aimed at people in China. In reality, those services have actually been closed. If you try to reach them, you get redirected to a new domain.