HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A Russian-financed search engine in Vietnam is redirecting queries for some politically sensitive terms to Google, apparently as a way of avoiding government anger or legal liability for sending surfers to sites critical of the ruling party.
The move Thursday follows an Associated Press story on the well-funded start up, Coc Coc, that noted it wasn't censoring results.
The AP story Wednesday noted that Coc Coc searches for "Viet Tan", an overseas pro-democracy group outlawed in Vietnam, were similar to Google's.
On Thursday, searchers were greeted with message saying the search "was not valid" before being automatically redirected to the Google page displaying the returns for "Viet Tan."
Coc Coc said it had "decided not to serve the segment of political queries at all."
Google declined to comment.