This weekend in the New York Times Magazine, Clive Thompson deeply analyzes (for 10 pages! that's 100 pages in Internet time) Google's China entanglement. But some of the crooked stories feel like scenes from Inside Man — it's really fun to cheer for the bad guys. Maybe it's just leftover love from this old commercial, but Google rival Baidu seems crazy — crazy like a fox.
A young Chinese-American entrepreneur in Beijing told me that she had heard that the instigator of the Google blockade was Baidu, which in 2002 had less than 3 percent of the search market compared with Google's 24 percent. "Basically, some Baidu people sat down and did hundreds of searches for banned materials on Google," she said. [...] "Then they took all the results, printed them up and went to the government and said, 'Look at all this bad stuff you can find on Google!' That's why the government took Google offline."
Baidu denies it. But inside they must be thinking, "Man, we are badass."